Awarding the Leading Employers seal of quality is subject to the supervision and consultation of our Advisory Board, comprising distinguished experts from academia and economy.
Dennis Utter THE CHAIRMAN
As a former Global Business Director and Managing Director of the leading international HR certifier, Top Employers Institute, Dennis knows the market like no other. His know-how about seal providers, approach and study design is also reflected in the LEADING EMPLOYERS study, as his international and comprehensive knowledge of ”what does HR want and need?” in SMEs as well as in large corporations.
Dennis Utter started his career at the OTTO Group based in Hamburg before successfully leading the 360° Group and Halimos AG as co-founder and CEO. Dennis Utter was the youngest senator appointed by the European Economic Senate (EWS) and fulfilled this role for almost three years. As CEO, Dennis manages the Ströer subsidiary optimise-it and works in the parent company as Vice President of Product Innovation. Previously, he worked as interim manager for the well-known ZEIT publishing group, as well as for leading SaaS companies such as TalentsConnect AG. He has been a member of the LEADING EMPLOYERS advisory board since 2018 and manages it.
Prof. Dr. Gunther Olesch THE FAMOUS
Accepted into the Hall of Fame by the magazine for HR matters Personalmagazin, Gunther is the only manager to receive the “Leading HR Manager” award six times. The passionate musician and marathon runner is considered one of the pioneers among the HR managers. As a visionary and Steering Partner, Gunther brings his incredible dynamism, ideas and many years of expertise in Employer Branding for certification.
Gunther Olesch is a member of the Management Team of the High-tech company Phoenix Contact, which has its headquarters in North Rhine-Westphalia with approx. 17.600 employees. He is an honorary professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Ostwestfalen, has held various honorary positions, written several books and more than 180 publications on human resources related topics, corporate management and computer science. From 1979 to 1985, he was an employee in a management consultancy in Bochum. From 1985 to 1989, he was responsible for developing and managing personnel development at Thyssen Group
Sabine Koke THE HR EXPERT
With her extensive knowledge as a HR manager in various companies, Sabine represents the view of HR professionals in dealing with employer certifications, employer branding and recruiting.
After starting her career at SinnerSchrader, the socio-economist graduate supported companies from various industries in developing, personalising and digitalising HR management. At Colgate-Palmolive, she supported more than 7 years the HR development processes and reorganisations of the DACH region, before becoming the first HR Director at PARSHIP to develop the HR area and play a decisive role in shaping the corporate culture. As Head of Human Resources at the ZEIT publishing group, she recently led numerous projects, including in Employer Branding. Sabine has been with the Better Ventures Group as Tribe Lead People since 2018 and is successfully shaping the further development of New Work.
Prof. Dr. Philipp Riehm THE MEDIA PRO
Alongside communication and marketing, Philipp’s main priorities are digital business models and entrepreneurship. His election as an advisory board member of the LEADING EMPLOYERS study emphasises his focus on the digital-social aspects of the award coupled with ‘entrepreneurial thinking’.
Since 2009, Philipp has been Professor Media Management at the Macromedia University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. Besides his professorship, he works as a Systemic Coach for executives, as well as an expert speaker for digital marketing and leadership in the Google-certified Squared Online program. Born in Munster, Germany, the sociologist, communication scientist and psychologist made his professional debut in Cologne, where he worked as a Programme Planner at VOX and later as Media Manager at the broadcaster SUPER RTL.
Dr. Christian Bornhorst THE LAW MAKER
Dr. Christian Bornhorst LL.M. is a lawyer specialising in consulting strategic and institutional investors for international corporate transactions, joint ventures and restructuring. He also accompanies executive bodies and members through all stages of their mandate.
Christian has joined the Advisory Board, bringing his international legal expertise since 2019.
He has lived in Germany, Brazil, Bolivia, the USA and Switzerland. After his studies in law (Master’s degree), his doctorate and work at the Universities of Frankfurt (Oder) and Berlin, he spent the first ten years of his career as a lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. In the meantime, he worked in the legal department of Hewlett Packard in Geneva and is now a Corporate/M&A Partner at the international law firm Simmons & Simmons.
Prof. Dr. Volker Nürnberg THE HEALTH GOD
For more than 15 years, Volker has been dealing with all facets of the Occupational Health Management and the digitalisation of the workplace. Widely known as one of the Health Management experts in Germany, he challenged the LEADING EMPLOYERS award in terms of health issues and contributes with his broad expertise as a Consultant and Managing Director.
Volker completed a degree in Economics with a minor in Psychology. As Managing Director at AOK and BKK, he implemented occupational health concepts at public health insurance companies before taking over as general manager at the international business consultancy Mercer. Since 2017, he has been a partner and head of the Health Management department of the accounting and advisory networks BDO. He also teaches HR related topics at various universities (e.g. FOM and TUM) including in international universities. The press likes to call him the ‘Business Health Management (BGM) Pope’.