Interview with knorr-baby boss peter hotz

Knorr-Baby meets Stiftung Warentest "The situation is very difficult, but not insoluble"

The manager is 47 years old and the father of two adult daughters. He has been working as a managing director for Knorr-Baby since September 2016. The medium-sized stroller manufacturer employs 50 people in Niederfüllbach and has sales in the low double-digit million range.

Photo credit: Mike Meyer Photography.

Stiftung Warentest’s testers are currently testing combination strollers. When they take a closer look at the Knorr-Baby Noxxter model, they find that the sports attachment can be put on incorrectly without being noticed. The result: the seat in the frame can tip over – and the child can be injured. Before the test appears, the Stiftung Warentest publishes this information to warn the parents. The responsible market supervisory authority of Knorr-Baby is also informed – a violent blow to the neck of the medium-sized company from Bavaria, which is among the top 5 in Germany. In the interview, we talk to CEO Peter Hotz about the power of the testers, the shock and impending image damage due to the poor rating.

Mr. Hotz, the first search result for “Knorr-Baby” on the Internet is currently: “High risk of injury: test warns of this stroller”. What does it do to you when you read this??
I was really concerned. After all, I am a father myself and as such I would of course ask myself whether I can still trust this company.

Early warning signals, e.g. for market or technological changes, are not noticed or even actively suppressed.

Regulatory and political influences on future corporate development are systematically underestimated.

Market and customer changes are not (adequately) analyzed and discussed in the Management Board.

Business models are not critically reflected.

You stick to traditional (and so far successful) approaches for too long.

There is a lack of courage to argue against the prevailing opinion.

When there are noticeable changes, people act too hesitantly; they indulge in actionism and showmanship "on stage" without concrete measures.

There is no clear and convincingly communicated change vision and strategy.

Survey among partners of Roland Berger Strategy Partners. Quoted in "Good Leadership" by Burkhard Schwenker and Mario Müller-Dofel. Published in 2012 by BrunoMedia Verlag.

Can you?
I can, yes. When I read on the Facebook page of the Stiftung Warentest, where the warning was also shared, what the users write in the comments and like you even side with us there, I know that our product is fine and the test is a very unrealistic case.

In what way?
No one places their child on the frame of the stroller in the pushchair attachment. We already point out in the instructions for use that children should not be in the immediate vicinity during assembly.

In a message to your customers, it says: “With proper handling and use of the sports car attachment, there is no danger in any situation for their Child. ”A debt admission sounds different.
If someone criticizes us, we are open and happy to accept the feedback. It can happen that something is wrong with a product. Then we are very grateful for the test and respond immediately. But our instructions for use were not bad before and if you do everything correctly, consists also no danger.


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Christina Cherry
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