Press Releases

Changes in the Managing Boards of Vienna Insurance Group, Wiener Städtische and DONAU Versicherung

As of 1 January 2020, the following management changes will be effective:

  • Vienna Insurance Group: Franz Fuchs as Deputy General Manager as early as 1 October 2019; Gerhard Lahner (42), Gábor Lehel (42) and Harald Riener (50) newly appointed to the Managing Board.
  • Wiener Städtische Versicherung: Sonja Steßl (38) to become Board Member responsible for sales.
  • DONAU Versicherung: Judit Havasi (44) takes over as new CEO; Wolfgang Petschko (41) to join the Managing Board.

During the supervisory board meetings of Vienna Insurance Group, Wiener Städtische Versicherung and DONAU Versicherung the following Managing Board changes have been agreed on:

Managing Board Expansion at Vienna Insurance Group (VIG)

In recognition of his dedicated effort and outstanding leadership in Poland, Romania, the Baltic States, the Ukraine and Moldovia, Franz Fuchs will be named Deputy General Manager on 1 October 2019. Three new members with extensive international experience in the Group – Gerhard Lahner, Gábor Lehel and Harald Riener – will join the Managing Board as of 1 January 2020. Judit Havasi will resign from the VIG Managing Board at the end of 2019.

Gerhard Lahner studied business economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and has worked in various functions since joining the Group in 2002. He served on the Managing Boards of Austrian Group companies DONAU and Wiener Städtische, prior to his Managing Board functions in the Czech Group companies Kooperativa and ČPP, positions he still currently holds. Since 1 January 2019, Mr Lahner is also a Substitute Member of the Managing Board.

Gábor Lehel studied business management specialising in finance in Tatabánya and Budapest in Hungary. He joined Vienna Insurance Group in 2003, working in Group Controlling and serving as Head of the General Secretariat, before taking a position on the Managing Board of Hungarian Group company Union Biztosító in 2008. He has been CEO there since mid-2011 and a Substitute Member of the Managing Board since 1 January 2016.

Harald Riener studied social and economic sciences at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and joined the Group in 1998, where he worked in the field of marketing for DONAU and Wiener Städtische until 2001. After working for a media publishing house, he returned to Vienna Insurance Group in 2006, where he was responsible for the VIG Marketing department, and subsequently the Group’s expansion in Croatia. Since 2014, Mr Riener is a member of the DONAU Managing Board and responsible for marketing and sales.

Board Member responsible for sales at Wiener Städtische Versicherung

Sonja Steßl will join the Wiener Städtische Versicherung Managing Board on 1 January 2020, assuming responsibility for sales. She has a law degree and worked for various technology companies before taking up the position of Secretary of State for Digitalisation, Administration and Civil Service at the Austrian Federal Chancellery. The native Styrian has been with Wiener Städtische since 2016. She led the Health and Accident Insurance department until being appointed Regional Director for Styria in July 2018, where she heads the regional operation successfully. Ms Steßl will be the third woman to join the Wiener Städtische Managing Board, meaning that women will account for 50% of the senior management team over the medium term.

New CEO at DONAU Versicherung

The proportion of women on the DONAU Versicherung Managing Board will also increase when Judit Havasi takes over as CEO on 1 January 2020. She has a law degree and joined the Group in 2000. Ms Havasi started her career at Union Biztosító and became a member of the company’s Managing Board in 2005. In 2009, she was appointed to the Wiener Städtische Versicherung Managing Board, and served as Deputy General Manager from July 2013 to the end of 2015. She became a member of the Vienna Insurance Group Managing Board in January 2016.

Wolfgang Petschko will join the Managing Board of DONAU Versicherung with effect from 1 January 2020. He studied business informatics at the Technical University Vienna and has been with the Group since 2002. After being in charge of the reinsurance business at DONAU and Wiener Städtische, Mr Petschko took over as Head of VIGs Corporate Business in 2016. He has been Managing Director of Vienna International Underwriters since 2008 and in charge of the industrial non-life section at the Austrian Insurance Association since 2017.

As of 1 January 2020, the Managing Boards of the three companies will be composed of the following members:

Vienna Insurance Group:

Elisabeth Stadler (CEO)
Franz Fuchs
Liane Hirner (CFO)
Peter Höfinger
Gerhard Lahner
Gábor Lehel
Harald Riener
Peter Thirring

Wiener Städtische Versicherung:

Robert Lasshofer (CEO)
Manfred Bartalszky
Christine Dornaus
Roland Gröll
Ralph Müller
Sonja Steßl
Doris Wendler

DONAU Versicherung:

Judit Havasi (CEO)
Edeltraud Fichtenbauer
Reinhard Gojer
Roland Gröll
Ralph Müller
Wolfgang Petschko