Corporate development in times of crisis

ESB alumnus Christoph Schell demonstrates how companies can come out of crises stronger

By Sven Rottner

Since graduating from ESB Business School 25 years ago, Christoph Schell has been a welcome guest at his alma mater. The ESB alumnus (IPBS 1995) began his career at the PC and printer manufacturer HP during an internship semester. Today, he wears the title of Chief Commercial Officer at this international company.

ESB Business School would like to provide its students with first-hand experiences during COVID 19. On the initiative of ESB Dean Prof. Dr. Christoph Binder and Prof. Dr. Tobias Schütz, on 13 May 2020, over 80 BSc International Management Double Degree graduating students attended Christoph Schell's lecture on corporate development in times of crisis.

HP's CCO focused throughout his lecture mainly on the impact of the corona pandemic on international players in the business world. “This requires not only compliance with hygiene measures, but above all a cool head in terms of crisis management”. He also pointed out the difficult economic decisions to be taken in the current crisis situation - also in view of the fact that today's decisions always have repercussions on tomorrow's actions. Christoph Schell attaches great importance to the fact that companies not only come through crises well, but also emerge from difficult times more empowered and rejuvenated. For this to happen, he states that close cooperation with partner companies is essential. 

The ESB alumnus appealed to the students to not bury their heads in the sand. The times of lockdown and store closures were particularly suitable for personal development or the founding of a start-up. The Covid-19 crisis is the time for new ideas more than ever before. Christoph Schell also announced at this point that HP will be offering internships in the summer despite the general protection measures.

The lecture was followed by a Q&A session, which also developed into a lively online exchange of ideas. The ESB students have no doubt benefited once again from the insights of Christoph Schell, whose CV is a best-practice example of a successful international career.