03 Jun 2022, 13:40
Benjamin Wehrmann

Former state env min becomes first female CEO of industry group BDI

Clean Energy Wire / manager magazin

The Federation of German Industries (BDI) has appointed former conservative (CDU) environment minister of Baden-Württemberg, Tanja Gönner, as its first female chief executive. Gönner leaves her position as head of Germany’s international development cooperation association GIZ to lead the influential lobby group. “The transformation towards climate neutrality, its challenges in the international context and social acceptance are big tasks that I look forward to work on,” Gönner said in a statement. BDI president Siegfried Russwurm said the 52-year-old former state minister has the right profile to represent Germany’s industry and steer the lobby group’s climate policy, while retaining international competitiveness. Gönner served successively as environment, social and transport minister in the southern German economic powerhouse state from 2004 to 2011 and as a member of the federal parliament between 2002 and 2004. The BDI represents more than 100,000 companies in Germany with a total of 8 million employees. Her predecessor Joachim Lang  decided to retire from the poste after five years at the helm of the BDI.

Gönner’s appointment fits into a string of personnel decisions at the top of German industry associations that underline the need for an ecological transformation, manager magazin writes. Carmaker association VDA has recently appointed former Green Party assistant Andreas Rade as a board member. Former Green Party MP Kerstin Andreae has been head of the influential energy industry group BDEW since 2019.

The BDI, whose member organisations generate about a quarter of Germany’s GDP, has in recent years increasingly embraced the transformation towards climate neutrality as a business opportunity for German industry but remains wary to keep its companies’ energy supply secure and affordable to retain their competitive edge.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Kerstine Appunn

Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

+49 30 62858 497

We are hiring

Correspondent (m/w/d) - Berlin

Manager:In Finanzen & Operatives (m/w/d) (50%-100%)

Find more details here

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee