Eric Achtmann is an entrepreneurial executive and board member with a history of exponential value creation in challenging growth and transformation environments. Eric’s established track record of success driving innovation, transformation, and growth spans multiple industries in multi-billion-dollar publicly traded and private companies including Airbus, BMW, Dana, McDonnel-Douglas, McKinsey, and Whitbread PLC/Costa Coffee.
Eric has an uncommon ability to successfully integrate and leverage business, finance and technology; manage, synthesize and steer complex concepts to commercial success; create and deliver novel products/solutions; and align diverse peoples, cultures and functions to deliver exceptional results. Most recently, this is exemplified by his role at Whitbread PLC/Costa Coffee where, in 2011 when Whitbread was stagnating, he proposed and delivered a world leading, award winning, IoT-enabled fresh drinks system. This system yielded 125 patents/claims, entered production within 6 months, has been deployed globally and transformed Costa’s growth trajectory, significantly contributing to its $5.1 billion sale to Coca-Cola in 2019.
Eric is a dual US/German citizen who began his career as a design and software engineer with BMW and Airbus. He was selected as part of the US Congress’ Lean Aerospace Initiative where he focused on lean manufacturing for the F/A-18 Super Hornet Strike Fighter at the highly regarded McDonnell-Douglas Phantom Works. After completing his MS, Aero- & Astronautics and MBA in Finance from MIT, Eric was recruited by McKinsey, initially with a focus on M&A. Shortly after starting, Eric pioneered McKinsey’s advanced product development activities (DTC/DTV) aimed at delivering extraordinary profitability and cultural transformation through cutting-edge product improvement and re-design. These activities evolved into one of McKinsey’s highly successful service lines, generating billions in value. Thereafter, Eric was recruited away from McKinsey to co-found PolyTechnos Venture-Partners, an early stage $300 million pan-European tech and life science venture fund, where Eric served as a Managing Director for over a decade. Since PolyTechnos, Eric has engaged in the creation of numerous companies, including ReClimate (data analytics for renewable energy). At Dana Inc. (NYSE: DAN), Eric worked closely with the CEO and executive team to define and drive key strategic innovation initiatives.
Since 2016, Eric has led a management and advisory firm, Global Capital Group (“GCX”), based in Germany that partners with global clients to “pivot, repurpose, innovate and transform” their businesses. Passionate about innovation, people development and social responsibility, Eric is a frequent speaker and university lecturer (professor), and a US Air Force AFWerx and Techstars Mentor, as a well as a member of the Boston Committee on Foreign Relations. He is a Founding Member of Meggitt PLC’s Technology Advisory Board (LSE: MGGT), Expert Advisor to the European Commission, and Senior Advisor at McKinsey, amongst other roles.