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Dr. Heiko Müller - Interim Manager, Consultant, Moderator & Sparring Partner

Career path

As a Doctor of Economics and management professional, I have gained extensive management experience in various types of companies and countries, including Germany, Western and Eastern Europe, and the USA.

After studying economics at the University of Hanover and earning my doctorate at WHU in Vallendar, I began my professional career with the Allianz Group. In the executive assistant program, I was able to gain insights into the management of large organizations as well as very quickly assume operational project responsibility.

In various management functions, I played a key role in driving the growth of new business areas in Germany and Europe at the interface between strategy, business development and marketing. In doing so, I was able to deal with strategic issues as well as drive forward operational implementation.

The development of the retail business in Eastern Europe from the initial idea to successful implementation challenged and excited me, because I was able to win over a wide variety of people with divergent interests for a new business model and set it up successfully.

During my assignment in the USA, I identified, established and scaled collaborations with start-ups. I was particularly motivated by working with the various stakeholders and working out a long-term cooperation that offers significant added value for the customer.

Both in the implementation of collaborations and in internal changes as well as M&A transactions, different corporate strategies and cultures as well as processes keep coming together with the parties involved. In several projects I was able to experience the effects on an organizational and individual level and learned to appreciate professional support.

Inspired by my professional experiences I founded my consultancy conugere. The focus is on my expertise.

  • Business Strategy
  • Operational Excellence
  • Change Management

With my competencies I am flexibly at your disposal on three levels:

  • Consultant & Interim Manager (organizational level)
  • Facilitator for workshops & trainings (group level)
  • Sparring partner for the management (individual level)

Extract of my projects

  • Implementation of an operational excellence program across four business management divisions at an international engineering company (2022-23).

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  • Improve collaboration between four business divisions and three sites
  • Concrete improvement of the complaints process (catch-all)


  • Change from a hierarchical to a project-centric organization
  • Acceleration of cultural change


  • Identification and roll-out of a new complaints process. Introduction of data-driven decisions in the complaint process and acceleration by 20% after only 4 months.
  • Transfer of improvements from business unit A to business unit B (especially target agreement process)
  • Sensitization for teamwork and information exchange
  • Optimization of the product development process (PDP) between two company sites (development / series production) and improvement of communication / collaboration for a global machine builder (2022).

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  • Goal: The product development process (PDP) was perceived as non-transparent and cumbersome. The “target process” was not lived and deviated from the “actual process” This was to be optimized.

  • Challenge: The PDP contains 5 milestones in which up to 10 different teams at two locations were involved. There were different ideas about the “right” process, the corresponding roles and responsibilities.

  • Result: The actual situation was recorded in numerous workshops. It was important to listen carefully and actively capture feedback from all stakeholders. After outlining the target picture, the process was developed for all teams involved and feedback was obtained to strengthen commitment and understanding. After a short time, the new process was rolled out across the company.

  • Moderation of a strategy-offsite for a Hessian association with the balancing of diverging interests (2022).

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  • Goal: The member representatives of a Hessian association each represent individual interests. At the strategy offsite, the task was to draft a unified plan for the next decade that all members would actively support.

  • Challenge: Each individual interest group pursues – quite rightly – different goals. The challenge was to find a common denominator without diluting the result or preventing individual members from seeing themselves reflected in the target picture.

  • Result: In-depth interviews were conducted with all stakeholders in the run-up to the offsite, and the results were processed. The discussion was actively moderated and conducted both openly and intensively; all stakeholders were actively involved. It was possible to define a clear vote for the future association strategy, which is supported by all stakeholders.

  • Optimization & digitalization of internal business processes as well as introduction of consultative selling methods for a change management consultancy as Chief Operating Officer (ad interim 2020-2021).

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Results (excerpt):

  • Successful strategic realignment during the pandemic (conversion from face-to-face to online delivery) and long-term development of the company (introduction of new products, such as courses on “Leading at a Distance” or “Agile Coaches”).
  • Technical and disciplinary management of up to 20 employees in the HR, Sales & Marketing, Assistance, IT and Accounting departments.
  • Successful selection, onboarding, and management of various service providers (tax advisor, IT service provider, data protection officer).
  • Responsible for the planning and implementation of the company-wide personnel requirements
  • Successful reorganization of the complete IT infrastructure from on-site to cloud services and setting up of data protection regulations throughout the company (provider selection, onboarding, training of employees)
  • Sparring partner for colleagues on all seniority levels.
  • Development of a ‘go-to-market’-strategy for an AI startup (2019).

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  • Goal: Design and implement a go-to-market strategy for a moderated app platform that enables collaboration between AI startups and leading asset managers.

  • Challenge: The platform build requires simultaneous customer acquisition on the supply and demand side. This was enabled by an innovative pricing strategy.

  • Result: Successful launch of the app and positioning of the provider as the preferred technology and service provider in asset management.

  • Identification and implementation of the international expansion for a Munich-based blockchain start-up as Chief Operating Officer (ad interim 2018-2019).

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Results (excerpt):

Marketing, Sales & Customer Service

  • Reorganization of the globally distributed Customer Service team according to time zones to ensure direct assignment of customer and client service as well as increased accessibility
  • Website relaunch to increase reach (SEO, SEA) and expansion of social media activities with continuous optimization of online marketing measures
  • Initiation and implementation of a CRM-system to track client activities and focus on the most profitable clients

Business Strategy

  • Stabilize faltering crypto business by focusing on scalable core IT-elements of cryptocurrency exchanges
  • Leveraging deep blockchain expertise and establishing a new business unit for blockchain industry applications

Controlling & Accounting

  • Introduction of KPIs for targeted controlling and forecasting of the core business
  • Strict cost control and identification of significant overhead savings opportunities

Human Resources

  • Initiation and implementation of HR processes for more efficient management and control of employee data as well as digitization of the hiring process
  • Analysis and identification of individual skill sets within the team. Change of responsibility and task assignment with increased efficiency and customer orientation
  • Development of a market entry strategy for the impact investing strategy (sustainability strategy) of a family office (2018).

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Goal: The offering of a family office is to be expanded to include impact investing strategies.

Challenge: The impact investing market was analyzed with its different players, offerings and business strategies. The peer group was analyzed in depth and compared with the client’s existing resources; potential bottlenecks for market entry were identified.

Result: A clear recommendation for action was made with concrete product offerings, possible cooperation partners and resources to be built up in the future. In a slightly modified form the proposal was implemented.

Current mandates

  • I support Haftpflichtkasse, a mutual insurance company, as a member representative. I support the Supervisory Board in matters relating to business strategy, operational excellence and change management.
  • As Active Advisor, I am responsible for the Digital Practice at Milbrandt e.K., a boutique executive search firm. With my understanding of innovative technologies, I can evaluate the impact of digitalization on changing markets and business models. At eye level, I can discuss the resulting requirements for companies with decision-makers.
  • As a Senior Expert, I support DAVIGO AG – a fintech that uses artificial intelligence to support investment decisions – in strategic issues and act as a sparring partner for the Executive Board, especially in the development and scaling of the business model. I find it exciting to combine strategic issues with operational implementation.
  • At InsureTechHub Munich, an innovation platform of the state of Bavaria, I support young founders as a mentor with advice & action and accompany their growth. It fascinates me to get to know new founders and their challenges and to identify pragmatic solutions.
  • I am also in close contact with universities such as WHU and ESMT and give lectures on strategy, operational excellence and change management.

Dr. Heiko Müller moderated the closed session ‘Masterplan Hessen 2040’ professionally and with great tact. With his ability to read between the lines, he succeeded in reaching a consensus despite divergent opinions, which was a real benefit for all participants.

Frank Aletter
CEO Hessischer Industrie- und Handelskammertag (HIHK)

The slogan ‘Added value through connection’ really fits very well. Heiko Müller professionally set up, moderated and implemented the ‘Operational Excellence’ initiative. He demonstrated connections and substantiated the importance of cross-divisional collaboration using various examples from the Vahle Group. With the project team, Heiko developed pragmatic ways for groups to work more efficiently with each other across departments and locations, increase ownership, and grow personally in the process. This awareness-raising supports our change process and helps implement our long-term strategic goals.

Henning Stelte

Chief Operating Officer (COO), Vahle Group

Heiko impresses with a wonderful combination of great empathy and strong professional expertise, which he brings in purposefully and thereby optimally hits the tone of the customers. Working with him is simply a pleasure.

Dr. Johannes Landsperger
Founder CAMP Landsperger

Within a very short time, Dr. Heiko Müller succeeded in setting a strategic course, optimizing processes and retaining key customers in order to restructure draglet. With a lot of empathy and intensive communication, he won over the globally distributed team and did not shy away from extensive changes. In doing so, he always had the full support of the founders and the management team.

Peter Kohlschmidt
CEO draglet

Dr. Heiko Müller has led three projects for the Vahle Group: 1.) Optimization of the product development process, 2.) Introduction of agile working methods, and 3.) Selection and introduction of project management software. In all projects, Heiko not only demonstrated strategic vision and pragmatic implementation. With his empathy, he won colleagues over to new topics and built bridges between sites and teams in the process. As a result, we have reduced silos and significantly improved collaboration across divisions.

Volker Napiwotzki

Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Vahle Group
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