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ESMT Case Study

Wilo SE: Corporate structures in times of de-globalization

ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-321-0193-1
Claire Cardy, Bianca Schmitz, Olaf Plötner, Johannes Habel (2022)
Strategy and general management
Corporate strategy, global trends, organizational structures,
strategic change management
Wilo SE, headquartered in Dortmund, Germany, was a leading supplier of pumps and pump systems for the building services, water management and industrial sectors, which was doing business in more than 50 countries. Based on current global developments in politics, economy, and society, Oliver Hermes, President and CEO of Wilo Group, saw a de-coupling of three tectonic plates centered in China, USA, and Western Europe. At the Wilo management conference in September 2020 Hermes informed stakeholders about the decision to establish a 2nd headquarters in Beijing within the next few months, and possibly to open a 3rd headquarters in the following year in the USA. He stated:

“With the opening of a 2nd headquarters I want to set a sign. Wilo has to keep up with current global developments – whether we like them or not. A stronger regionalization of Wilo is necessary to continue our global success.”

The case text introduces the key measures to establish the 2nd headquarters in China.
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