Current press releases

05
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03
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2020

Haufe Group Is Again Named “Digital Transformer of the Year”

Freiburg, March 5, 2020 – The Digital Transformer of the Year award for the media industry goes to Haufe Group. The company wins the award for the second time for its pioneering role in the digital transformation, beating co-nominees Axel Springer and Ströer.

Haufe Group already won the Digital Transformer of the Year award in 2017 for its radical metamorphosis from a traditional publisher to a successful software and solution provider. Now, the initiative of the same name has again honored the corporate group for its exemplary transformation achievements. In herprize-giving speech, Insa Klasing praised how Haufe Group responds consistently to the dynamics of rapid change and shows how a lasting capacity to learn and change can bridge the gap between old and new, stability and dynamism, and the installed base and innovation business. These factors make Haufe Group “ a digital transformer through and through.” Not only does the corporate group embody inward transformation, but – with its wide range of products and services – it also empowers its customers to successfully instigate transformation processes themselves.

The digital transformation necessitates constant changes in organizations’ structural and cultural frameworks. Permanently focusing on the organization’s ability to transform and shaping the transformation hand-in-hand with the people at Haufe Group is the job of Helmut Fink-Neuböck, who was appointed Chief Organizational Innovation Officer in summer 2019 and who accepted the award on behalf of all employees. Haufe Group uses data from its own transformation experience to continuously develop and hone solutions, products, and services for its customers, and thus help people and companies navigate their journey into the digital world successfully.

Digital Transformer of the Year: the initiative and the award

The prize, which has now been awarded for the third time, recognizes companies from the automotive, machinery and plant engineering, and media industries who have excelled in the digitalization of their organization. The award was conceived by the Digital Transformer of the Year initiative founded by the management consultancy Mediate, the Steinbeis School of Management + Innovation, and the communications company Vogel Business Media. This year, Command Control, the Cybersecurity Summit at Messe München, joined the initiative as a premium partner.

The shortlist for Digital Transformer of the Year 2019 was drawn up by the initiative based on an online survey of over 1,000 managers and subject matter experts. As well as providing an indication of the mood in Germany with regard to the digital transformation, the survey participants made suggestions about which companies were digital pioneers in their industry. A seven-person jury comprising high-caliber digital and industry experts then selected the winners from this shortlist.

Photo: Paul Knecht/storytile

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28
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10
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2019

Haufe Group Directors and Advisory Board Named “Entrepreneur of the Year 2019”

Freiburg, October 28, 2019 –Last Friday, the Holding Board and the Advisory Board of Haufe Group were namedEntrepreneur of the Year 2019 in the digital transformation category. Ernst& Young’s award for entrepreneurial excellence recognizes the achievementsof entrepreneurs who boost Germany’s success as a business location withvisions, ideas, and engagement.

Every year, entrepreneurs throughoutthe world vie for the award in a total of 60 countries. In Germany, the awards,now in their 23rd year, were presented at a big gala in the Mercedes-BenzMuseum Stuttgart on October 25, 2019. The Holding Directors of Haufe Group,Birte Hackenjos and Markus Reithwiesner, along with the Advisory Board membersAndrea Haufe and Martin Laqua, accepted the prize on behalf of all the creativethinkers at Haufe Group. They were honored in the digital transformationcategory for successfully and sustainably transforming the company from atraditional publisher to an international provider of software and professionaleducation solutions. In his prize-giving speech, Hartmut Jenner, CEO Kärcher,stressed Haufe Group’s entrepreneurial courage and continuous will to change.“Haufe Group from Freiburg has earned the top grade in digital transformation[…] One thing was clear to this family-owned enterprise: Only through radicalchange would the company have a future. With absolute customer focus and newideas, and with its brands Haufe, Lexware, and Haufe Akademie, Haufe Group hasdeveloped from a specialist publisher to become a leading digital mediacompany.

“The success of our digitaltransformation is based on a holistic understanding of change, which applies aboveall to our organization and culture, as well as to our products and services,”says Markus Reithwiesner. “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award,which honors all the employees at Haufe Group as active agents oftransformation.”

Haufe Group now draws on its experience from itsown metamorphosis to create solutions that will help people and organizationsnavigate their way successfully through the digital transformation. “We believeit is our responsibility to pass on our expertise, and – together with ourcustomers and partners – shape change and ensure future viability,” explainsBirte Hackenjos.

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22
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08
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2019

Haufe Group Appoints Helmut Fink-Neuböck as Chief Organizational Innovation Officer

Freiburg, August 22, 2019 – Withthe new executive unit Organizational Innovation, Haufe Group is maximizing itsown power to innovate. On August 1, 2019, Helmut Fink-Neuböck assumedleadership of the new unit, which will develop company structures and therebyequip the organization to deal successfully and consistently with a future thatis changing ever more rapidly.

Haufe Group’s growth over thepast few years is testimony to the fact that transformation is a key successfactor for companies in these disruptive times. New opportunities presented bytechnology, increasingly complex markets, and social upheaval mean businessesare caught up in powerful dynamics, so they must rethink what they do and howthey do it, and find new strategies. The old hierarchical structures and modesof thought that used to be successful have become obsolete. To be able to meetthe demands of the future, organizations must permanently and radically callthemselves into question and reinvent themselves. However, this change inperspective must not be detached from day-to-day business, but must always beconsidered within the context of market requirements. This strategic couplingof business and organization is one of the key tasks of the new unit, which ispositioned in the company hierarchy directly below the Haufe Group managementboard. Fink-Neuböck will constantly develop structures and processes within theorganization to create the best possible conditions to ensure the long-termsuccess of the company’s business activities.

Having held posts at variousstartups and as Head of Strategic Business Development & Innovation at SAP,Fink-Neuböck was most recently Chief Strategist & Business Architect at theHaufe Group subsidiary Haufe-umantis, where he was responsible for the businessand HR strategy. At Haufe Group, he will now dovetail business requirementswith the organizational setup across the group, scrutinize and rethinkprocesses, and foster cultural transformation. In addition, Fink-Neuböck willshare his experiences and expert knowledge about market-based change processes,and help other companies anchor organizational innovation as a strategic topicand build networks. “People and organizations are interacting in a time ofgreat change, a time full of paradoxes. To be successful in the long term,stable dynamics must become reality. Resolving this paradox is what drives me,”Helmut Fink-Neuböck says.

In his new role, HelmutFink-Neuböck will report directly to Haufe Group CEO Markus Reithwiesner. “Tosecure the future of Germany and Europe, it’s decisive that companies masterthe challenges of upheavals now and going forward. As a pioneer of successfulbusiness transformation, we see it as our task to assume responsibility andpass on our experience,” Reithwiesner says. “We are convinced that HelmutFink-Neuböck is just the right person to develop organizational innovation andmake it a core discipline in companies – that is, our own company and those ofour customers.”

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06
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08
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2019

Haufe Group Exceeds Targets with Sales of 407 Million Euros

Freiburg, August 6, 2019 – Atthe end of the fiscal year in June 2019, Haufe Group recorded sales of 407million euros. This represents organic growth of around 11 percent comparedwith last year, when revenue topped 366 million euros.

Haufe Group’s strategy ofempowering companies to transform themselves in an ever more dynamic marketenvironment is paying off in this fiscal year, too. The transformationofferings in the market segment of large corporations saw especially stronggrowth. Integrated solutions that help organizations and people shape theirchange processes with a tailored combination of consulting, software, and trainingare increasingly in demand. Here, Haufe Group is strengthening its position asa holistic partner for companies on their journey into the digital future.

In the segment of theself-employed and micro-enterprises, the cloud strategy in particular isproving successful. The online accounting solution for freelancers and smallbusinesses – lexoffice – is thriving and managed to increase its user numberscompared with last year to almost 100,000. But the trend goes way beyond theautomation of accounting, with a move toward an integrated ecosystem wheresmall enterprises can form networks and adopt a data-based approach tocontroling their business. In the large customer sector (for example, Ergo,Migros, Swisscom), HR cloud solutions saw growth of over 20 percent – largelythanks to the further development of talent management software. The number ofparticipants in digital learning solutions quadrupled to over 250,000.

Through its own successfultransformation from a classic print publisher to an innovative provider ofintegrated business solutions, Haufe Group knows what it takes to flourish in afast-growing and agile work environment. “Part of our fundamental understandingof ourselves is not to rest on our laurels, but rather to continually questionwhat we do and constantly reinvent ourselves,” says CEO Markus Reithwiesner. COOBirte Hackenjos adds: “To do this, we rely on a decentralized organizationalstructure with more agility, flexibility, and speed. Only then can we meet thechanged requirements of the market with innovative solutions and leverage ourstrengths optimally for our customers.”

Not only did Haufe Group grow in terms of sales,it also grew as a whole. The number of employees increased to 2000 last fiscalyear. The globally operating and Freiburg-headquartered company has 21 officesin seven countries.

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01
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08
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2019

Christian Steiger Becomes New Managing Director at Haufe Group

Freiburg, August 1, 2019 – OnJuly 1, 2019, Christian Steiger was appointed managing director at Haufe Group.Together with the other managing directors Isabel Blank, Dominik Hartmann, andJörg Frey, he will assume overall strategic responsibility for the small andmedium business segment, where Lexware is the market leader with its businesssoftware.

With Christian Steiger, themanagement team gains an experienced expert in cloud technology and innovation.As well as founding his own startup, Steiger – who holds a degree in computerscience – has clocked up nine years at Haufe Group. Most recently, he held theposition of business unit director responsible for the strategic development ofthe company’s innovation business. In this role, he made a key contribution todeveloping new product solutions and technologies for Haufe Group’s varioustarget audiences. Among his great successes are the SaaS solution Haufe ZeugnisManager, for generating references, and the cloud accounting solutionlexoffice. Furthermore, Steiger was a driving force behind establishing acustomer-focused organizational culture within the company through theintroduction of new methods such as design thinking, business model innovation,and agile approaches.

From now on, in his capacity as managingdirector, Steiger will be responsible for the strategic development ofinnovation business explicitly for the Lexware brand. His core objective is tocontinue to expand the lexoffice SaaS ecosystem, and particularly to increaseautomation and integrate more banking and finance features. Steiger believesthe customer-focused use of data-driven technologies will bring excitingopportunities for growth in the cloud. He says, “I’m convinced that theautomation of end-to-end business processes in the cloud is only the beginning.With the help of artificial intelligence and a consistent alignment with theneeds of customers, we can turn lexoffice into a digital advisor andrelationship builder for small enterprises.”

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02
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10
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2018

Haufe Group Acquires Stake in Fintech Kontist

Haufe Group is already a market leader in enterprise managementand accounting for small and midsize businesses (SMB) and freelancers with itsLexware brand. Now, the company is further strengthening its market position byacquiring a stake in Kontist. The combination of accounting and a financialsolution offers companies a new and innovative way of automating all theiradministrative processes through a single platform. Not only does this lightenthe load on entrepreneurs, but it also drives the digitalization of SMBs.

Times remaintough for the self-employed in Germany: The bureaucratic and administrativehurdles are high and software for managing small businesses invariably comes inthe form of standalone solutions. But help is at hand from Haufe Group and itspowerful Lexware brand, which provides a platform on which SMBs can manage alltheir business processes for accounting, banking, and tax. Kontist is a keycomponent on the road toward the end-to-end automation of business processesvia a central ecosystem. This latest move increases Haufe Group’s focus on thealmost 4.3 million SMBs and the growing freelancer community in Germany.

“With our stakein Kontist, we’re taking another step forward for our customers – towardautomating all their business processes and meeting their tax requirements.Entrepreneurs and freelancers no longer have to separate accounting andbanking. Instead, they can manage their processes and their companyjust-in-time through a single platform solution. We’re therefore making adecisive contribution to driving the transformation of small and midsizebusinesses,” says Markus Reithwiesner, Holding Director Haufe Group.

The twopartners’ first task together will be an in-depth technical integration of theonline accounting software lexoffice and the Kontist bank account. Users will thenprofit from automated accounting, a real-time estimate of tax payments due, andan integrated Mastercard for expenditure management. This combination willcreate a completely new user experience.

What’s more, Haufe Group and Kontist aresetting up a co-creation lab to develop innovative digital products. The objective is to rethink thebusiness workflows of SMBs and streamline them by integrating differentservices and partners on one platform. The search is on for more partners fromthe financial sector to help realize this vision. 

“Haufe Group, asthe market leader, is the ideal strategic partner for Kontist, because itshares our vision of developing innovative services for the self-employed – andit also has decades of expertise with its wide range of products,” saysChristopher Plantener, founder and CEO of Kontist.

With HaufeGroup’s minority share in the company, Kontist secures series A funding.Kontist already received 5 million euros in seed financing from Founders, aDanish company builder, and the Danish growth fund VœkstFonden.

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02
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08
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2018

Haufe Group’s Growth Remains Strong with Sales of 366 Million Euros

Haufe Group continues to grow. At the end of its fiscal year on June 30, 2018, the family-owned enterprise from the southern German city of Freiburg registered total sales of 366 million euros. This represents growth of around seven per cent compared with the previous year (343 million euros).

Haufe Group’s strategy of consistently focusing on the digitalization of its products and services paid off in this fiscal year, too. Especially its digital solutions proved extremely popular on the market. “In times of digital disruption, the business performance of companies depends greatly on their digital maturity. The fact that we succeeded in continuing to grow so strongly in precisely this area confirms that our strategy is headed in absolutely the right direction. We will remain courageous and tread new paths,” says Haufe Group CEO Markus Reithwiesner. CEO Birte Hackenjos adds: “One constant is to put customers’ needs at the heart of what we do. In the future, we’ll achieve this by focusing even more strongly on the potential of our employees.”

In particular, integrated solutions that support companies in their transformation with an individual combination of software, training, and consulting are making a positive impact on growth in the market segment for large corporate customers. In the portfolio for the self-employed and micro-entrepreneurs, the cloud solution lexoffice saw substantial gains: The online accounting solution for freelancers and small companies doubled its number of users to 70,000 within a year. Above all, the strategy of automating bookkeeping and offering users strategic advice on the basis of their data bore fruit.

Not only did Haufe Group grow in terms of sales, it also grew as a whole. The number of employees increased to 1,950 in fiscal year 2018. The globally operating and Freiburg-headquartered company has 19 offices in six countries.

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31
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07
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2017

Haufe Group outstrips target, achieving sales of EUR 343 million

Freiburg, 31 July 2017 – The Haufe Group achieved growth of around 13% as at the end of the fiscal year in June 2017. The family-owned enterprise, based in Freiburg, had sales of EUR 343 million, considerably outstripping its already ambitious target of EUR 332 million.

Marked growth is evident in particular in new products that target digital change in the market. The Haufe brand achieved the largest-ever increase in the history of the Haufe Group in its ‘Corporate’ segment. It acquired several leading national and international companies from the automotive and telecommunications sectors as customers for Rhythmix, its new digital transformation offering. Rhythmix is a mix of consulting, software and training. It gives companies the tools it needs to face the challenges of the future. Using an equal degree of innovative and interactive methods from the field of gamification, a holistic approach helps companies implement their business strategies, in a way that is tailored to the people, processes and tools within the organization.

The need for support for the comprehensive change processes underway within companies was also evident at Haufe Akademie, where there was increased demand for company‑specific courses as well as strong growth in its open further training program. There was also a significant increase in bookings for management programs that focus on the Haufe leadership model, for international seminars and further training programs.

New customers for Lexware’s Cloud solutions also increased significantly. Whereas lexoffice – the online accounting software – experienced a rise of almost 100% in its active customers, three out of four new customers also opted for smartsteuer, Lexware’s online taxation software, to submit their personal tax return. Automation and speech-recognition processes are the latest technological trends in these areas. For example, smartsteuer already implements Alexa Steuermann-Bot – Amazon’s language interface – to help users compile tax returns.

“These developments are a very clear indication that digital transformation has hit home and that customers are starting to use these products”, says Markus Reithwiesner, CEO of the Haufe Group. “This sends us a clear signal and we will continue to invest strongly in these new markets and solutions.”

There have been some staffing changes in the management board. Martin Laqua (65) – who has been at the company for more than 25 years – moved to the Advisory Board as at 1 July. Birte Hackenjos (48) and Markus Reithwiesner (54) now take on the roles of Co-Holding Managers at the company.

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22
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06
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2017

Haufe Group wins Digital Champions Award

Freiburg, June 22, 2017 – Haufe Group has won the Digital Champions Award in the category “Digital Transformation Midmarket” and accepted the prize at a ceremony in Berlin on Tuesday. The initiative set up by Deutsche Telekom and the business magazine WirtschaftsWoche honors particularly courageous and inspiring role models in the digital transformation.

The competition was aimed at all companies in the German midmarket that are meeting the challenges of the digital age and serve as examples of successful transformation processes.

The members of the jury, including Prof. Dr. Miriam Meckel, Editor-in-Chief of the business magazine WirtschaftsWoche, and Hagen Rickmann, Managing Director Business Customers at Deutsche Telekom, praised Haufe Group as a company that impressively demonstrates how, in Germany, too, it is possible to successfully develop software and, at the same time, master the transformation from publisher to software provider. Furthermore, in his prize-giving speech, Hagen Rickmann stressed that a digital transformation means more than new products: It also requires a company to completely reinvent itself. He added that the term “transformation” is easily said, but is always characterized by a lot of work and upheaval in organizations. Implementing transformation takes a great deal of courage.

“Haufe Group has been on the digitization journey already since the 1990s, and evolved from a publisher of loose-leaf publications to a provider of cloud- and Internet-based workplace and enterprise solutions. Our digital transformation impacts the entire company – from the organization and its processes, through the almost exclusively digital products and the digital customer experience, to leadership and culture,” says Markus Reithwiesner, CEO of Haufe Group. “We’re very pleased to accept this award. It shows us that we’re on the right path. All Haufe Group employees – who help shape the transformation so successfully – are deserving of this prize.”

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16
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02
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2017

Haufe Group on the Globalization Path with Training in China

Freiburg, February 16, 2017 – Haufe Group is consistently pursuing its growth strategy through investment in the booming training business in China. In January, it acquired the entire academy business of the Chinese company Zhonghy Haufe, in order to further expand its professional development offerings in the highly dynamic Chinese market.

The need for training offerings in China is high – a fact that can be seen clearly in the country’s planned economic and social development. Current key topics are not only the stabilization of growth and the modernization of production structures, but also the participation of as many sections of the population as possible in further economic and social development. As a result, the need for training offerings has increased significantly. Haufe Group, which has already had a presence in Beijing since 2013 with its company Haufe Beijing Technology, has been watching these developments for some time and caters to them with integrated global projects and concepts. “As the market leader in training offerings for companies, subject matter experts, and managers, we can transfer our experience to China,” explains Markus Reithwiesner, CEO Haufe Group. “We give priority here to the precise requirements of Chinese companies and – together with our experienced colleagues in China – we’re developing a portfolio that addresses the specifics of Asian corporate culture.”

By acquiring the entire academy business, in which Haufe Group previously had shares, Haufe Beijing Technology is supplementing its HR portfolio with a wide range of training offerings, and adding to its selection of seminars and conferences, in-house courses, and online and offline seminar videos. In particular, the expansion of annual conferences with up to a thousand participants per event plays an important role.

Hansjörg Fetzer, Managing Director Haufe Akademie Freiburg, sees great growth potential in enhancing the portfolio with seminars and in-house training courses for large and especially midsize companies. This area is one of the core competencies of Haufe Akademie in Germany. “Our many years of experience and expertise in the training sector will be very helpful for the development of the Chinese subsidiary,” Fetzer says. That’s why the Haufe Akademie experts in Freiburg are working closely with the colleagues in China.

In addition to the academy business, Haufe Beijing Technology markets the cloud-based software Haufe Labour & HR Guru, and has done since 2013. The product is based on the Haufe Office Line software and supports HR departments in their daily work by providing content and tools. HR business partners can find specialist information and toolkits for their day-to-day business tasks on the portal. The enhanced offering cements Haufe Group’s position as a well-rounded specialist in HR and training for midmarket companies.

By acquiring the academy, Haufe Beijing Technology has grown its workforce to almost one hundred employees.

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