Based in Frankfurt, Dr. Walter Friederichs conducts senior executive and board searches nationally and internationally for major organizations in the area of industrial manufacturing and distribution. Walter has completed numerous high-profile searches for board members, presidents and CEOs of world-leading corporations. In addition, he performs board assessments and searches for non-executive directors and is the global leader of the Automotive practice. Walter has authored many articles for industry leading publications, most recently including 'From Car Guy to Mobility Leader' and 'The Future of Automotive and Mobility Leadership'.
Recent Client Experience
Walter's most recent activities in the automotive industry include attracting best-in-class know-how to the management board of an iconic brand and benchmarking all functions pertaining to a premium OEM's small-car range. He has also helped in establishing the executive management team to run an Asian OEM's European headquarters.
For a major supplier, Walter participated in a global initiative to attract state-of-the-art energy storage and battery management know-how. For a group of manufacturing companies he was involved in an initiative to attract key members to a shared procurement company's executive team. By attracting internationally experienced talent to regional and global positions, he promoted step-changes in the business contributions HR executives make.
Walter supported building a well-connected advisory board for an equity investor and has helped recruit a chairman to a portfolio company in turbulent times. Walter's most recent executive assessment had him establish an industry-specific benchmark in retailing to identify development needs and devise suitable actions.
Prior to joining Russell Reynolds Associates in 1996, Walter was General Manager of the Strategic Business Unit, Construction Chemicals at Hilti AG. Previously, he headed Corporate Development at Hilti's headquarters in Liechtenstein. Before that he was with Bayerische Motorenwerke AG as General Manager of a holding company after having served as Manager, Technology Transfer, at BMW's headquarters in Munich. Walter began his career as a Consultant with The Boston Consulting Group in Düsseldorf.
Additional Professional Activities
Walter has been appointed Vice President of the British association of automotive executives, the Automotive Fellowship International. Walter has been elected Young Leader of the American Council on Germany, Atlantik Brücke, which fosters the dialogue of young professionals from the U.S. and Germany. In addition, he is a member of Tönissteiner Kreis and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, associations that encourage international relations.
Walter received his Licence en Administration Economique et Sociale from the University of Aix-en-Provence and his Diplom-Kaufmann from the University of Cologne. As a Fulbright Scholar, he received his M.B.A. at Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Cologne. Walter is fluent in German, English and French.