IAA Voices Conference Special: Interview MANN+HUMMEL
Kurk Wilks has been President and CEO since January 2020 and manages the group together with Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Emese Weissenbacher.
Imagine you are in a time machine and on your way "back to the future". In which year would you like to get off and why?
I would first jump into 2030 and then into 2050. I think we are still underestimating the speed of change. I’m curious to see how far the advances in AI and digitalization will shape the way we bring solutions forward. Will the increasing speed to sustainability and the impact our efforts will have on the environment be the necessary effort to achieve the 1.5° C commitment? I think so and I believe our filtration solutions will prove to be a significant contributor to our mutual cause.
I think in the next decade, we will witness a change we have never seen in history.
If you can accept the change that takes place in the next decade, imagine how 2050 will be like! I’m really looking forward to this rate of change.
If you had one superpower that would help you professionally, what would it be?
I don’t know if it’s a “superpower”, but I immediately think about superheroes and their ability to inspire others. We need inspiration to support people and bring excitement and hope towards a better future. So my superpower would be to inspire people around me to accept the pace of change, be open to adapt to new ways of working, use technology to drive for solutions that make a difference, and to come forward on our journey full of energy and commitment.
What trend are you currently following with great interest professionally?
Definitely the shift to alternative propulsion systems. I’m following the speed of that shift with great interest as well as the opportunity at MANN+HUMMEL to provide towards the target of sustainability that contribute to the greater challenges of the day.
What is/was the biggest game changer for you in the logistics or transport industry over the past ten years?
The recent years have been all about supply chain disruptions and their impacts on the transportation industry, both inflationary and scarcity. The biggest game changer for us is how we adapt, and become more flexible and resilient to achieve competitive service levels.
What innovation do you currently see internationally as a blueprint on the path to climate neutrality?
In Berlin, we are currently focusing strongly on the decarbonisation of our bus fleet. I hope that the industry and the providers will continue to work intensively on improvements and further developments. Locally emission-free e-buses are a very good answer to many challenges, especially in urban transport.
What are your hopes for the IAA TRANSPORTATION?
We think about our business in three aspects: air, water, and mobility. Each aspect has its own value proposition.
To achieve cleaner mobility in the future, we advance the cabin air of the vehicle as well as reduce harmful contaminants such as break dust with our filtration products.
Our water segment develops solutions that improves our ability to filter water to drinkable standards. And to contribute to cleaner air, our reliable mobile and stationary filtration solutions make sure indoor air is free of pollutants and viruses, and outside of facilities they can reduce particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide.
What are you particularly looking forward to at the IAA Conference?
That we in the industry and at MANN+HUMMEL, the leaders in filtration, succeed in developing solutions that perfectly balance the customer’s wants, society’s needs and the future’s potential.
That together our customers and us find new sustainable business models that are absolutely required to stabilize our business reflecting on the reality of Inflation, supply chain disruption, other.
Kurk Wilks has been President and CEO since January 2020 and manages the group together with Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Emese Weissenbacher. The units Original Equipment, Automotive Aftermarket, Life Sciences & Environment, Legal, Insurance & Compliance, Communications & Marketing and Internal Audit report to the President and CEO. Since 1998, the US citizen has held various positions at MANN+HUMMEL in North America. Kurk Wilks has a degree in Accounting and an MBA from Walsh College in Troy, Michigan.