Anne Gradl, Head of Leadership & Talent Management ALTANA

Recognize and Accept Challenges
Qualified employees are the bedrock of ALTANA’s continuous growth. But demographic change and the looming lack of qualified staff will pose special challenges in the future. Against this backdrop, ALTANA’s Management Board has set itself an ambitious goal: By 2020, 70 percent of all vacant management positions are to be occupied internally. In addition, by 2025 the management teams should reflect ALTANA’s internationalism as well as the share of women in the total workforce. Since January 2016, Anne Gradl has headed the new Leadership & Talent Management department created for this purpose.

To prepare for her new task in advance, Anne Gradl sought exchange with the ALTANA Executive Management Team as well as colleagues around the world. This personal exchange and ALTANA’s existing human resource development instruments spawned a trendsetting, systematic talent management concept that was presented to the global management teams in 2016. Local conditions and challenges were also discussed and incorporated. “Our concept focuses on our employees whose development should be optimally and expediently based on their own abilities and interests,” explains Anne Gradl. The program is a top priority for the company’s management. It is to be implemented successively until 2018.

Anne Gradl has benefitted from ALTANA’s existing human resource development program. Early on, her superiors recognized her potential and recommended her for an international junior manager program. “From this program, I still have a sustainable network of colleagues from across the globe. In addition, it was valuable for me to exchange ideas with ALTANA’s Executive Management Team, which closely accompanies this program, among other things through individual mentoring,” says Anne Gradl, summing up her experiences. “Working on international projects has made me even more aware of ALTANA’s diversity. Due to our flexible organizational structure, employees have a number of development possibilities that I would like to utilize more strongly within the framework of the talent management concept.”

Develop Potential
In the future, ALTANA’s worldwide talent management intends to ensure transparency concerning internal development options and strategically important vacant positions on a global level. Furthermore, there should be targeted staff development to optimally promote high-potential employees in particular. With these measures, a structure will be created that enables staff to develop commensurate with their own ideas, interests, and skills within ALTANA and at the same time to safeguard the company’s steady growth through focused succession management. Mobility across national borders as well as business and functional areas is expressly desired.

But how are ideal candidates found for the positions? In the future, the local management teams and human resource managers will regularly engage in exchange at so-called talent conferences. They will identify positions for which successors are pending and discuss possible candidates.

But one thing will stay the same, and Anne Gradl is particularly happy about this: Talented, curious, and open-minded employees will be given freedom at an early stage so that they can experiment with and develop ideas. ALTANA’s corporate values – openness, trust, empowerment to act, and appreciation – could not be lived out more concretely.

For her new task, Anne Gradl is talking to colleagues around the world. She knows the requirements of the holding company and the divisions well. In 2010, the economics graduate joined the company after working for a consulting and auditing company for several years. After a two-year stint in the holding company’s Corporate Development / M&A department, she became Head of Finance of an ACTEGA company. “Here the paths are short and the department borders transparent. It gives you broad in-sight,” says Anne Gradl. She is ideal for an international position because at the beginning of her professional career she worked in the U.S. and China.


It is people who make a company successful. Our guiding principle “We are ALTANA” expresses this concisely and precisely. Demographic change and the prospect of a shortage of qualified employees make the development of junior managers a top priority for ALTANA. In the future, the new Leadership & Talent Management department will ensure that high-potential employees in the company can be identified and promoted more reliably than to date, and that suitable candidates are always available for strategically important positions.