Wolfgang H. Inhester is a seasoned strategic communication consultant, crisis management expert, and brand development advisor. Since 2004, he has been providing guidance to executives and managing directors of renowned companies, both nationally and internationally, as well as associations and institutes through his firm, crossroad solutions. With over 30 years of experience in international PR and marketing, he is recognized and specialized in crisis management, corporate and product communication, brand image repositioning, event strategies, sports sponsorship, and the establishment of integrated international communication structures within organizations. Leveraging his expertise in crisis management and integrated communication, he delivers lectures at universities and participates in media and corporate seminars. Since 2022, he has been exclusively focusing on strategic consulting.
CEO Laureus World Sports Awards, London
From 2001 to 2004, Wolfgang H. Inhester served as the CEO of Laureus World Sports Awards Ltd., a company co-founded by him and owned by Daimler and Richemont, in London. Under his leadership, the Laureus Awards gained global recognition as the "Oscars of Sports." In 2003, he received the SportBild-Award in recognition of his achievements. A significant aspect of Laureus was the development of the "Laureus Sport for Good Foundation" by Inhester and his team in London. This foundation aims to provide children worldwide with a socially integrated and better life through sports programs. Over the past 20 years, Laureus has invested over 150 million EUR in foundation work, positively impacting the lives of millions of children through sports.
Vice President Global Communications Mercedes-Benz
From 1992 to 2001, Wolfgang H. Inhester held the position of Vice President Global Communications, responsible for public relations at Mercedes-Benz worldwide. According to the former board, he played a crucial role in the successful repositioning of the brand, its products, and the Mercedes board under Prof. Jürgen Hubbert and Dr. Dieter Zetsche. Inhester pioneered numerous PR innovations and received several international industrial film awards in Europe and the USA. From 1995 to 2001, he and his team were consecutively voted as the best PR department in the entire automotive industry. His international event and campaign communication set new standards in product presentations, which continue to be regarded as benchmarks and shaped the communicative landscape of the Mercedes product offensive in the 1990s. He also gained a strong reputation in crisis management with his successful handling of the Mercedes A-Class crisis in 1997 ("Elchtest"), which remains a significant part of his strategic consulting activities to this day. Head of Corporate Communications, Adam Opel AG Wolfgang H. Inhester began his professional career in 1982 as a journalist in the press department of Adam Opel AG, where he learned the ropes of PR. Progressing through various positions, including Deputy Head of the Press Department (1984) and Head of Press Europe (1986), he established integrated corporate communications for the first time in Germany as the Head of Corporate Communications (1988). In this role, he was responsible for the entire external corporate representation. Key focus areas included the successful repositioning of the Opel brand, the introduction of Opel in Japan and the new federal states after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the development of a new corporate identity, and sports sponsorship (e.g., FC Bayern Munich, Steffi Graf). Opel was awarded as the best sports partner in Europe in 1991. In 1987, as the project leader for "125 Years of Opel," he orchestrated the largest events in the history of Opel production sites in Rüsselsheim, Bochum, and Kaiserslautern, attracting nearly 400,000 visitors in total.
Wolfgang H. Inhester pursued studies in economics, German studies, and political science from 1972 to 1978, culminating in a degree as High school teacher. He financed his studies as a freelance journalist and photographer for newspapers, news agencies, and magazines, focusing on the automotive and motorsport sectors. This experience laid a solid foundation for his career in the industry after completing his teaching internship in 1982.
From 1977 to 1981, Inhester participated in international rally sports as a co-driver and clinched the German Rally Championship in 1980 alongside Achim Warmbold in a factory Toyota Celica GT. He remains dedicated to motorsport as a hobby through his collection of vintage cars, which he actively races and rallies in international historic events.
For more information about his personal journey and career, you can listen to the following podcasts from the series "Alte Schule, die goldene Ära des Automobils - Der Benzintalk mit Menschen, die die Welt des Automobils geprägt haben":
Die Seele des Sammlers
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