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“Times like this produce dreams”

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume on social responsibility, focusing on essentials, and optimism.

Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, is leading the sports-car maker and its 35,000 employees through the challenges posed by the coronavirus. He is optimistic about the future. Photo: Porsche

Mr. Blume, the coronavirus pandemic has taken governments, economies, and society at large by storm and is dictating new rules—for Porsche as well. What are you using for guidance during this time?

Oliver Blume: We’re being guided by the central values of our Porsche culture. More than ever, what we want to do is work for the benefit of society and our fellow human beings. We want to take care of each other and take responsibility –like in a family. These values extend beyond our factory gates. Right now we’re concentrating on where we as a company can be of help. For example, experts from our two consultancies, Porsche Consulting and MHP, have been supporting crisis management teams for the states of Baden-Württemberg and Saxony over recent weeks and were instrumental in procuring personal protective equipment from China. We’ve also been encouraging our employees to do volunteer work, and we’re sending donations to charities around the world. That’s all part of how we view ourselves as a company.

Should companies in general play a greater role in government affairs, like Porsche has done in procuring PPE for healthcare personnel?

Blume: Porsche has a long history of promoting non-profit initiatives. Solidarity and social responsibility are just part of what we do. This crisis affects everyone, and government, businesses, and the public are all called upon to contribute. I am confident that we will deal with the situation successfully by working together. And it’s experiences like this that can have a lasting effect on our society—to everyone’s benefit.

Read the full interview here.