Dr. Christian Vogt is Chief Digital Officer at ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG and heads the newly formed Digitalization Department. Together with his team he will accelerate digitalization at STIHL and support other departments in designing, developing and optimizing digital processes, products and business models. This will include, for example, connected products, software-defined products and robotics in the areas of forestry, horticulture and landscaping. "Digitalization holds great potential for STIHL along the entire supply chain – starting with production processes and smart products and solutions for end users to distribution and sales. I look forward to tapping into this potential with the staff at STIHL and working on new ideas", says Dr. Vogt.
Years of experience in digitalization and the internet of things
Forty-year-old Dr. Vogt has been involved with digitalization, the internet of things and mobile communications for 14 years. After studying information technology in Bonn and software engineering in Los Angeles, and obtaining a PhD at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, he initially took on executive functions in internet standardization for Ericsson in Finland and moved to Silicon Valley for Ericsson two years later to help build a new research group. Later, he was a business consultant with McKinsey & Company in Silicon Valley and advised firms in different branches of industry in the areas of business, product, sales and digitalization strategy. Most recently, he worked as a freelance consultant in Silicon Valley supporting startups in scaling their business models.
Digitalization at STIHL
In order to utilize the opportunities presented by digitalization, STIHL not only founded a completely new department but also reorganized other departments. For example, the R&D team was expanded, positions for "smart solutions" were created in product management and flexible teams formed. In addition, STIHL is investing in the expansion of networking and know-how as well as spinning off and collaborating with startups. The company also participates, for example, in the ACTIVATR startup program, in which STIHL staff work together with experienced startup founders to develop digital business ideas. One example of this is Freiraum GmbH, which provides a software solution to simplify the day-to-day work of tradesmen's businesses. Furthermore, STIHL has a stake in the Israeli startup GreenIQ as well as the High-Tech Startup Fund, the largest seed fund for financing young technology companies in Germany.