André Krause, you are the CEO of Sunrise and have had a great career. Is that mainly because of your good looks?
Thanks for the compliment (laughs). Of course, a sympathetic demeanor is helpful to win people over. Looks alone could not have shaped my career.
But to convince customers, surely it helped?
If so, then it's my charisma, not my looks. I think I'm good at winning people over.
Can men really count?
For me, it is not a question of gender. It's more about talent. We have three sons and one daughter. The daughter is the best at arithmetic.
When did you realize that you could count?
Tough question (laughs). I wasn't very good at math in school.
Nevertheless, your first position at Sunrise was that of CFO?
I don't want to say that I couldn't count! But it didn't interest me enough to study math. Today I'm good at mental arithmetic.
You have made a major takeover with UPC. How did you do that?
Always with a big team.
So you bought the success?
(Resolutely moves the whole upper body back and forth.) No. I tried to get the best people on board for the project. The most I can claim for myself is that I managed to keep everyone together and inspire them.
Has being a man brought you any advantages in your career?
At major events, I think it's great that the queues in front of the men's toilet are much shorter... But seriously: On the contrary, I currently have the feeling that if I were a man and changed jobs, my chances would be worse. Due to the rightly demanded quotas, more and more women are currently being employed.
Who promoted you – only men?
Mainly, but not only. At Sunrise, for example, board member Ingrid Deltenre helped me become CEO. At Telefonica, too, there were women in management who played a role in my development.
Do women promote differently?
(Thinks for a long time, makes a serious face) Yes, because they have a different point of view and a different approach - which I very much welcome. I also think that women in management positions sometimes rightly demand more. And want to prove themselves stronger.
How about you: do you never ask yourself if you can do it all?
Of course! There are situations where I don't sleep so well at night and ask myself: Am I well enough prepared? So far it's still going well.
What is your recipe?
By developing a structure, a common thread, in advance. This can be during sports or at the weekend.
You develop structures at the weekend – and you have four children. How does that work?
(He nods, smiles mischievously) That's only possible because my wife takes the lead at home. She maintains the hotel operations and logistics to keep everything running.
Do you ever have a guilty conscience?
Yes! With four children, it is not possible for me to attend all parents' evenings. I feel bad when I only see the video of a school play and my son asks me, "Dad, why weren't you there?" Or when I'm on a business trip.
Is this talked about among CEOs?
Sometimes people ask me why I don't do business dinners in the evening. Then I say I want to have dinner with my family. We do talk about it with other managers now. I don't want to hide my children, they bring me a lot of joy.
What is more important: job or family?
The family! For example, I was at an important board meeting and got a call from school that our son had a stone in his eye and needed to see a doctor. My wife was unable to attend. It was clear to me - I'm going to my son.
What were the consequences?
I missed the session. The world didn't end.
What was your name before you got married?
Why didn't you take your wife's name?
My wife found the name Krause universal, and we didn't really discuss the subject at all.
Have you never been afraid of being financially dependent on a woman?
No, and I don't even know if I would have found it that bad. I have acquaintances who are househusbands. Whoever takes the lead in the family bears as much responsibility as a manager in his or her job.
Whoever takes the lead in the family bears as much responsibility as a manager in his or her job.
How do you manage your energy levels as a working dad?
With sports, I can shake the stress out of my clothes and recharge my batteries for my family. But I admit: When I'm having a difficult day, I can't always completely ignore it at home.
Speaking of dresses, what is your look about? Can you still wear this hoodie and t-shirt at your age?
(grins.) In the home office, I often wear a hoodie, in the office, I have long since stopped wearing ties, and if I wear a jacket, then mostly with a turtleneck sweater. You don't need suits to prove your competence and seniority.
The CEO rebel look...
(Just raises his brows meaningfully.)
What do you actually do for self-care? Peelings or massages?
I rely on normal male grooming: shaving, moisturizing cream, and aftershave. And I drink a lot of water.
Ah, a model tip!
(laughs) Is that so? I actually drink because I'm thirsty.
How are you feeling after this interview?
It is clear to me that many of these questions are only asked of women – wrongly so! Especially the question of the bad conscience because of the family. Men should also have to take a stand on this.