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12 May 2021

Leonard Birnbaum and May


The new newsletter offers you selected content such as the latest relevant news from the European tech scene - presented to you in short and informative bite sizes. Every month we interview interesting personalities and give you an insight into the tech world. Get ready to learn more about the who-is-who from future-driven companies like Planetly, E.ON, and RatePAY, and look forward to exclusive insights from these inspiring tech-pioneers. 

What can you expect?

  • An insightful interview overview with the new CEO of E.ON: Leonard Birnbaum
  • Some interesting snippets from the energy industry you shouldn't miss
  • Staff change of the month - Zalando


A digital deep dive with Leonard Birnbaum – Summary 

Birnbaum bei EON

Leonard Birnbaum is the new CEO of E.ON – and we are delighted about the chance to conduct one of the first interviews he has given in his new position. He has been an integral part of E.ON group for multiple years and now, he is responsible for several of the company’s areas such as Compliance & Corporate Security or Strategy & Innovation. 

In our interview, Leonard speaks about his new role at E.ON and which challenges and opportunities it comes along with. Some of the core challenges he wants to tackle are growth, sustainability, and digitization of the company. He says that they “need to fully digitize [their] operations because if you don’t operate fully digitally you will probably soon not be in the position to operate at all anymore.” Together with the management board team, he is planning to fully realize all the potential that lays ahead. 

Moreover, it is a central key point for Leonard to prepare a digital roadmap towards a fully digital utility. In concrete terms that means to implement technologies to radically change traditional products, services, and processes into solutions. These solutions can be monetized via significant efficiency gains or entirely new business models. In Leonard’s opinion, the only energy companies that will play a significant role in the new energy world will be those that are fully digitized in terms of their internal processes, their philosophy, their customer processes, and their operations. Germany, he is further emphasising, is so far, unfortunately, moving at a snail’s pace towards this new world: “Germany is focused entirely on risk avoidance, looks for perfect solutions, and is missing the opportunities”. Leonard adds that Germany must be more daring and have higher expectations of itself – there is a lot of potential, it simply must be realized and activated.

To finish our interview with Leonard, we also wondered about a few more personal questions, such as what the first thing is that he does in the morning of a busy CEO day. For him, it consists of coffee, definitely not checking his mobile device as soon as he wakes up, and attempting to do morning exercises. With the latter, he is currently at an 80% success rate – for that, we might have to conduct another interview soon to find out more about his motivation.

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Fancy some more news about energy?

  1. „How do we use electromagnetic energy from 5G signals to power devices?“
    Wireless communication releases a lot of energy into the air. A team from Georgia Tech says it should be possible to receive about 6 microwatts at a distance of about 180 meters from a 5G transmitter. Read more about energy harvesting and how we can make it work in the real world. 
  2. "Norway invests in renewable energy project with $1.6 billion from the sovereign wealth fund"
    This direct investment is a first for the fund: until 2020, the Norwegian parliament only granted investments into stocks, bonds, and real estate. The new investment was made into the Dutch Borssele wind farm, which is the world's second-largest operating offshore wind farm. Read more about the deal here.
  3. „Potentially the first fusion reactor capable of producing more energy than it takes to operate“
    Scientists of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) conduct inaugural test runs this summer. Similar to the sun and other stars, a fusion reactor uses a relatively tiny amount of energy to release an immense amount of heat. Read more about how scientists recreate the cosmos in a laboratory.

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Astrid Arndt is the first woman on the board of management of Zalando.

Astrid Arndt is the first CPO of Zalando. Photo credit: Zalando

Dr Astrid Arndt became Chief People Officer (CPO) at Zalando on 1 April 2021. According to Co-CEO Robert Gentz, the CPO position was newly created because the last year, in particular, has shown that the role of work in society is changing. Also, given Zalando's growth trajectory, a dedicated role is needed to retain key talent and continue to attract good employees on a large scale.

There is further interesting news about changes in staff - and we curated it all just for you in our newsletter. Sign up here.