Q&A: Matthias Zachert, CEO of Lanxess AG
What is your personal story about “Wunderbar together – Germany and the U.S.”?
My personal American-German story has developed over many years. The once mainly private enthusiasm for the land of proverbial unlimited possibilities is now also professional in nature. With the acquisition of the US chemical group Chemtura two years ago, LANXESS has also incorporated some American DNA. And just how well this fits in with our German genes was demonstrated by my visit to our new US location El Dorado in Arkansas last year. The great openness of our new colleagues there and their enthusiasm and commitment to their work and to us as their new professional home has enabled us to grow together impressively quickly.
You love sports and running … the United States is the land of sports. Which sports in particular do you like?
The fascinating thing about sport for me is that it brings people together – just like music – regardless of age, religion … or nationality. I’m a passionate runner myself, because for me it’s a perfect balance to my everyday professional life. But basically I am enthusiastic about many sports. Of course this also includes classic American disciplines like basketball. Basketball in particular has steadily increased in popularity in Germany over the past few years due to outstanding German players such as Dirk Nowitzki.
What do you hope for the future of the transatlantic relationship?
Germany and the USA are two countries that not only share a common history but also convictions, principles and above all a common basis of values. I hope that both sides will continue to make every effort to deepen their partnership, to overcome divisions, to emphasize unity and to tackle the major global challenges together. This multilateral approach may have fallen somewhat into oblivion recently, but it is now all the more important to recall it. This applies to the relationship between the USA and Germany as well as to the relationship between the USA and Europe. Only by joining forces can strong growth impulses be set and opportunities be exploited – all in the meaning of “Wunderbar Together”.