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With courage, curiosity and connection for better healthcare around the world

Two and a half years ago, Elisabeth Staudinger was appointed to the Managing Board of Siemens Healthineers. In the meantime, she has become one of the prominent faces of the global medtech industry, partly due to her personal commitment that extends beyond the boundaries of the DAX-listed company.

It's an impressive career. Elisabeth Staudinger has remained loyal to her company for over 25 years, which is rather unusual these days, and she has made it to the very top: after studying economics, sinology and history in Vienna, the Graz native started as a trainee in Munich in 1998. Until 2004, she worked in various operational functions at Siemens AG in Germany, Singapore and China and from 2005 held management positions in purchasing, controlling and production. In 2008, she took over responsibility for the global business with refurbished imaging equipment.

"Courage, curiosity, connection"

Staudinger has been able to expand her area of responsibility step by step. Always with her: the "Three C's", as she herself calls the three principles that have guided her in making decisive decisions: "Courage, Curiosity, Connection".

Courage and curiosity were required, for example, when she went to Nanjing for a year in 1992, in her early 20s, to study in China. And in 1996, shortly after starting her career at Siemens, she was drawn to Beijing and Shanghai for a few more years. "I find it very enriching to keep leaving my own comfort zone. It's the only way to seize opportunities that arise without fear," Staudinger emphasizes in this context.

Based on this experience and after further career steps, she was given responsibility for the entire business of Siemens Healthineers in Asia in 2018, which significantly expanded under her leadership. In 2021, she went to the top: After nine years in the Asian metropolises of Singapore and Shanghai, Staudinger joined the four-member and thus comparatively lean Management Board of the company, now known as Siemens Healthineers. And of course the tasks have grown again: in addition to the Asia-Pacific, Japan and China regions, her area of responsibility now includes Technology Excellence, Customer Services, Quality and Access to Care.

Contract extended ahead of schedule

"Under Elisabeth Staudinger's leadership, Siemens Healthineers' business in Asia and especially in China has developed excellently. Her extraordinarily broad and deep range of experience, which extends from strategic purchasing at Siemens AG to manufacturing activities and comprehensive regional and global business responsibility at Siemens Healthineers, make Elisabeth Staudinger an excellent manager and outstanding leader," explained Supervisory Board Chairman Ralf P. Thomas to the shareholders at the Annual Shareholders' Meeting of the AG as the reason for the appointment.

Her Executive Board contract will be extended ahead of schedule in March 2024 - until 2029. "Elisabeth Staudinger is working intensively on the digital development of our very successful service business and the expansion of our technological expertise. At the same time, our growth area Access to Care has successfully established itself under her leadership," the Chairman of the Supervisory Board praises. "Her deep familiarity with the culture of our Asian customers is driving our successful business development in this important region."

Elisabeth Staudinger's CV makes it clear that her curiosity is not limited to regions such as Asia, but that she is open to topics such as technology and global healthcare: "It is extremely important to always remain curious and to be passionate about learning. That's how you get to the point of understanding different points of view and constantly adapting to and embracing change," Staudinger believes: "Part of being curious is to never stop asking questions. I am always amazed at the insights that come from asking the right questions."

siemens-healthineers-asm-2024.jpg (0.2 MB)At the 2023 Annual Shareholders' Meeting of Siemens Healthineers AG: Dr. Bernd Montag, CEO, Darleen Caron, CHRO, Dr. Jochen Schmitz, CFO, Elisabeth Staudinger, Member of the Executive Board, and Prof. Dr. Ralf P. Thomas, Chairman of the Supervisory Board (from left to right) © Siemens Healthineers

Global challenges 

The manager is currently focusing intensively on the question of how medical care can be brought to wherever people live - regardless of where in the world they are. She is convinced that the problems are huge: a shortage of doctors is not only an issue in Germany and global population growth coupled with increasing life expectancy is one of the greatest challenges of our time. 3 billion people have no access to adequate medical care, says Staudinger.

At the same time, she believes there are many things that a globally active company - Healthineers employs 70,000 people worldwide and has a turnover of 22 billion euros - can contribute to. In Egypt, for example, Siemens has established a training center for medical professionals responsible for the operation and maintenance of diagnostic equipment in cooperation with the local Ministry of Health, reports Staudinger. And in Kenya, the company is involved in a project in which a fleet of drones transports blood samples from rural areas to centrally located hospital laboratories for analysis in order to give significantly more people access to blood diagnostics.

She also wants to dedicate herself to promoting women's health worldwide in the future: Elisabeth Staudinger has been a board member of the World Economic Forum's Global Alliance for Women's Health since January 2024. She is committed to changing the way women's health is funded and prioritized in order to close the health gap for women. This is because, on a global scale, women spend significantly more time in poor health than men. There is a series of articles on this topic by Elisabeth Staudinger on LinkedIn.

Networks for better understanding

In addition to curiosity and courage, Elisabeth Staudinger also believes that building up a large network and mentor-mentee relationships, connection is crucial to the success of a career like hers. "I can only appeal to you to take the time to build up networks both internally and externally. Such connections create important opportunities for mentoring or sponsoring, for example. We can all learn a lot from the experiences of others," says the manager. This can involve advice, but also access to career opportunities that might otherwise have been denied: "In the end, networking is not just about expanding our contacts, but also about deepening our understanding of ourselves and others."