High School Student “CEO for 1 Day” of ALTANA

Wesel, November 3, 2016

Wesel, November 3, 2016 – What would it be like to be in charge of 6,000 employees for a day? Are the myths about managers true? And how do managers approach corporate and social responsibility? A student from Gerresheim high school in Düsseldorf took over the helm from ALTANA’s CEO Martin Babilas for a day to find out.

“I was very excited to see how things are done in a large company like ALTANA,” said 17-year-old Shiva Mobini-Tehrani, who in the framework of the “CEO for 1 Day” campaign gathered her first experiences in business at the very top of the company. “I never would have thought that so many departments and functions around the world have to work together to have success in the end. Being a CEO has a lot to do with communication. Mr. Babilas was very open with me too. I liked that a lot.”

“Openness is one of our most important corporate values, alongside trust, empowerment to act, and appreciation. These values not only facilitate cooperation, but are also an important prerequisite for our success,” explains ALTANA’s CEO Martin Babilas. “Innovations can be made only when unconventional opinions are allowed to be expressed and different perspectives converge. So I was all the more happy to spend the day with a young, up-and-coming talent like Shiva Mobini-Tehrani. I also gained interesting insights myself.”

As “CEO for 1 Day,” Shiva Mobini-Tehrani took part in meetings and talks about topics such as recruiting, digitization, and sustainability at ALTANA, answered questions at a press conference, and visited the laboratory and the employee health and fitness center.

In a multi-stage selection process with a two-day casting, the 17-year-old had qualified as “CEO for a Day” at ALTANA. Previously, Martin Babilas had introduced himself to the high-school student candidates in Düsseldorf. Gerresheim high school in one of seven German schools that participated in the “CEO for 1 Day” campaign this year.


ALTANA is a global leader in true specialty chemicals. The Group offers innovative, environmentally compatible solutions for coating manufacturers, paint and plastics processors, the printing and packaging industries, the cosmetics sector and the electrical and electronics industry. The product range includes additives, special coatings and adhesives, effect pigments, sealants and compounds, impregnating resins and varnishes, and testing and measuring instruments. ALTANA's four divisions, BYK Additives & Instruments, ECKART Effect Pigments, ELANTAS Electrical Insulation, and ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants, all occupy a leading position in their target markets with respect to quality, product solution expertise, innovation and service.

 Headquartered in Wesel, Germany, the ALTANA Group has 47 production facilities and more than 50 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the Group about 6,000 people work to ensure the worldwide success of ALTANA. In 2015, ALTANA achieved sales of more than 2 billion euros. About 6 percent of sales are invested in research and development every year. Its high earning power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the most innovative, fastest growing, and profitable chemical companies in the world. 

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