The Advisory Board advises the Rector on matters pertaining to visibility and reputation in regional business, cultural and educational communities. The Advisory Board provides a complementary advisory function to the University Council’s control and monitoring functions in three meetings per year. Its members play a vital role in improving the competitiveness of the University’s academic programs by providing insights into market needs and external funding opportunities, thus fostering critical linkages between the University and the public and private sectors in Austria and the broader Central and Eastern European region.

Dr. Walter Schön

Chief Executive Officer, Schoen Aerospace Trading & Consulting (Committee Chairman)

Dr. Walter SchonChairman of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2017
Member of WVPU Advisory Board for more than 25 years

Since 1992, Walter Schön has been the CEO of Schoen Aerospace Trading & Consulting GmbH, a company that has been in operation since 1951. His main operating areas are security and defense and industrial cooperation. As CEO, he has consulted for a number of companies, including but not limited to Leonardo and Iveco of Italy, Ruag and Rheinmetall Air Defence of Switzerland, and Frequentis of Austria.

In addition to his leadership on the WVPU Advisory Board, Schön is a member of the Austrian Defense and Security Industry (ASW). He is also the vice president of the Austrian-Italian Association and is the honorary consul of St. Vincent & the Grenadines in Austria.

Mag. Michael Edelsbrunner

Country Executive, Citibank Europe plc, Austria Branch

Michael EdelsbrunnerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

Mag. Michael Edelsbrunner graduated from Karl-Franzens-University of Graz in 1992, with a master’s in Economics and a specialization in banking and industrial economics. He began his career in the banking industry soon after with Sanpaolo Bank (Vienna, Austria) Aktiengesellschaft, working as a relationship manager in corporate banking until 1997.

In 1998, Edelsbrunner joined Citibank International Limited Austria Branch, where he has made a career lasting 14 years. He started as a relationship manager in corporate banking, and was promoted to vice president in 2001. In Jan. 2005, he served as director/holder of Commercial Procuration, a position which was later incorporated as country director seven months later. In Aug. 2006, he served as the senior credit officer until Oct. 2007, when he became the Citi Country Officer, a position he has held since. While German is his mother tongue, Edelsbrunner is also fluent in English and French.

Mag. Liane Hirner (CPA)

Member of the Managing Board, Vienna Insurance Group

Liane HirnerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2018

In February 2018, Mag. Liane Hirner (CPA) became a member of the Managing Board of the Vienna Insurance Group. She is appointed VIG’s Chief Finance and Risk Officer. She graduated from Karl-Franzens-University of Graz with a Master´s in Economics.

She then started her professional career at PwC Paris in 1992, and in 1993, she moved to PwC Vienna. From 2009 until 2017, Hirner was a partner at PwC Austria, and specialized in financial services with a focus on insurance. Hirner has been a tax advisor in Austria since 1997, and a certified auditor since 2001. She is married and has two sons.

Hirner is also a member of a number of prestigious organizations, including the Austrian Financial Reporting and Auditing Committee (AFRAC), Austrian Institute of Public Accountants (IWP), Austrian Insurance Association (VVO), EIOPA IRSG (Insurance and Reinsurance Stakeholder Group), Chamber of Public Accountants and Tax Advisors (KSW).

Ing. Rudolf Kemler

Senior Partner, Roland Berger GmbH

Rudolf KemlerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2012

Since Sept. 2015, Rudolf Kemler is senior partner at Roland Berger GmbH.

After graduation from engineering school, Kemler began his career in the banking sector (Creditanstalt, Girozentrale and Studiengesellschaft für Sparkassenautomation). In 1984, he became general manager of WBG Betriebswirtschaft Beratungsgesellschaft m.b.H., an international business consulting firm specializing in organizational development and strategic consulting.

In 1989, he joined the management team of Nixdorf Computer GmbH, where he also headed the Banks and Insurance division. In 1990, after playing a key role in organizing the merger between Siemens-Data and Nixdorf, Kemler became director of Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme GmbH in Vienna. In 1992, he moved to the international corporate headquarters of Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG in Munich, where, as executive vice president, he was in charge of global finances for the Branch Systems sector. Beginning in 1995, Kemler headed the Computer Systems division of Siemens Nixdorf for the Austria and South East Europe region, headquartered in Vienna. From 1998 to 2000, he was senior vice president and CIO with international responsibilities at GE Capital Corporation in Stamford (United States), where he helped guide the company through a phase involving numerous international acquisitions. In 2000, he became CEO of the publicly traded Technology Business Incubator AG, headquartered in Vienna.

From 2002 until the end of Jan. 2008, he was CEO of T-Systems Austria and regional supervisor for Central and Eastern Europe. Afterward, he joined HP Austria as managing director. In this capacity, he was responsible for business operations, and also headed HP Austria’s Enterprise Business Group. Starting in Nov. 2012, Rudolf Kemler was the managing director of ÖBIB — Österreichische Bundes- und Industriebeteiligungen GmbH.

Kemler is the president of the Austrian Internet Task Force, member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Austrian Industries in Vienna, vice president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Austria and a committee member of the Advisory Board of Webster University, Vienna, as well as of the Association of the Austrian Electrical and Electronics Industries (FEEI). Furthermore he is a member of the Supervisory Boards of Société Horlogère Reconvilier AG, Switzerland.

Prof. (FH) Dr. Christian Kreuzer

Managing Director, EY Advisory Services
Managing Director, Austrian Controller Institute

Christian KreuzerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2018

Prof. (FH) Dr. Christian Kreuzer is currently the managing director within EY’s Advisory Services in Vienna and the Austrian Controllers Institute. He focuses on corporate training and development. Kreuzer has been a visiting professor at the University of Southern California (USC) and the academic director at Fachhochschule Wien, among other leadership positions in academia and the private sector. With over 1,500 days spent consulting and training, Kreuzer has spent much of his academic and professional career focusing on accounting, process and risk management, and development.

Kreuzer has authored several books. He also serves as the president of the Vienna Chapter of the Institute for Management Accountants (IMA).

Mag. Gernot Mittendorfer, MBA

Managing Director, Trade Republic, Berlin

Gernot MittendorferMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

Gernot Mittendorfer graduated from Webster Vienna Private University with an MBA in 1996 with an Emphasis in Finance, receiving the esteemed Schön Nobel Award for Graduate Academic Excellence.

He began his career in the banking industry with Sparkasse Mühlviertel West Bank AG Rohrbach as a member of the managing board. His areas of responsibility included loans, accounting, controlling of activities related to the local branch, banking and leasing in the Czech Republic. From Nov. 1999 to June 2000, he served as a member of the managing board to Erste Bank Sparkassen (CR), a.s., Prague, overseeing retail banking. From July 2000 to July 2004, he was a managing board member with responsibilities in commerce at Česká spořitelna, a.s., Prague. During this time he also served as chairman of the Supervisory Board for Factoring ČS, a.s., Leasing ČS, a.s.

In Aug. 2004, he became the president and chief executive officer of Salzburger Sparkasse Bank AG, Salzburg until May 2007, when he moved into the same position at Česka spořitelna, a.s., Prague. From 2011 to 2013, Gernot was  a managing board member at Erste Group Bank AG, Wien, overseeing group real estate and leasing, group investment banking, large corporate banking, GCIB corporate support and operations, and local corporate banking. In 2012 he also became the CFO of the bank and served in this role until June 2019 when he was appointed as advisor to the CFO at Erste Group Bank AG. He left the bank at the end of 2020. In December 2021 Gernot was appointed managing director of Trade Republic in Berlin, a leading German Fintech operating in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy offering brokerage and saving plans with more than 9.000 stocks, ETFs, Crypto and 300.000 derivatives.

Besides serving on the WVPU Board, he is also member of the Advisory Board of The Prague University of Economics and Business (VŠE).

Mag. Patricia Neumann

CEO of Siemens AG Austria

Patricia NeumannMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2023

Since 2021, Patricia Neumann has led IBM Software Sales for Data, AI and Automation in IBM’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Prior to this role, she was the managing director of IBM Austria from 2017 to 2021. After an international corporate career spanning more than 10 years that took her to London, Milan and Germany, among other places, Neumann held several executive positions at IBM. Earlier this year, she was appointed the CEO of Siemens AG Austria, effective May 2023.

Neumann and her family are based in Vienna. She graduated from the Vienna Business and Economics University in 1995.

Philippe Roodhooft

Executive Vice President Middle East and Growth Projects, Borealis

Philippe RoodhooftMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2018

Philippe Roodhooft is currently the executive vice president of Middle East and Growth Projects at Borealis, an industry leader in base chemicals, fertilizers and polyolefins. He first joined Neste Chemicals in 1990 as a project engineer in Beringen, Belgium. After Neste Chemicals merged with Statoil, he became responsible for plant management in Borealis Kallo and later in Beringen. He moved to Vienna, Austria in 2007 and has since then served as general manager for the Central European production sites, senior vice president of Operations for the Borealis group of companies and senior vice president of Supply Chain and Product Management for Polyolefins. In 2013, Roodhooft moved to Borouge ADP in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as chief operating officer.

Roodhooft holds a Master degree in Applied Science, Cum Laude, from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Belgium with a specialization in Production Management and Electro Mechanical Engineering. He is married and has two children.

Prof. Dipl. Ing. Mag. Friedrich Rödler

Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Erste Group Bank AG

Friedrich RödlerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

Prof. Friedrich Rödler is the chairman of the Supervisory Board of Erste Bank AG and former country managing partner of PwC PricewaterhouseCoopers Austria. He started his professional career in 1976 with Arthur Andersen in Vienna where he was in charge of building up the tax practice. In 1990 he joined Price Waterhouse and became the firm’s lead tax partner in Austria. Since 2001 until 2013 he was the country managing partner of PwC in Austria.

Rödler is licensed as a “Steuerberater” to practice tax in Austria since 1979. In 1982 he passed the exam as “Wirtschaftsprüfer” and obtained the licence to practice as auditor according to Austrian law. Since 2004 Friedrich has been a member of the supervisory board of Erste Group Bank AG and since 2012 the chairman of the bank’s supervisory board.

Rödler is a member of the Tax Experts Board ("Fachsenat für Steuerrecht“) of the Austrian Chamber of Accountants ("Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder“). He is also actively involved in various international professional organizations as:

  • a member of the Tax Experts Board ("Fachsenat für Steuerrecht“) of the Austrian Chamber of Accountants ("Kammer der Steuerberater und Wirschaftsprüfer“)
  • a member (and former chairman) of the Tax Policy Group of Accountancy Europe
  • a member (and past president) of the Tax Committee of CFE (Confédération Fiscale Européenne)
  • vice president of IFA (International Fiscal Association) in Austria
  • treasurer and a vice president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Austria

Rödler studied Mathematics and Computer Science at the Technische Universität Wien where he graduated in 1975 as Diplom-Ingenieur. In 1976 he obtained a degree as Magister in business administration from the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien and in the same year he completed a post-graduate course in international studies at the Universität Wien.

Upon recommendation from the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien in 2011 the Austrian Federal President awarded Friedrich the professional title of Professor. Rödler is married to Dr. Maria Bergamini and has two children. Besides his native German, he speaks English, French, Hungarian and Italian.

Biljana Weber

Vice President and Managing Director for HPE CERTA (Central Europe, Russia, Turkey, and Africa)

Biljana WeberMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2018

Biljana Weber is a seasoned executive in the IT industry, with more than 20 years of experience at IBM and Microsoft Corporation. She is a transformational leader with a passion for people and technology.

Weber joined IBM in 1992 and during her 18 years in the company, held numerous regional leadership for Central Eastern Europe Middle East and Africa region (CEMA):  PC division director, Partner organization executive, marketing director, general manager for Slovenia&Adriatics region, director of Strategy, Public Sector director for CEE. She received numerous awards for her work, among others 13 times top achievement award, Special Order of Merit reward for CEE and EMEA Leadership Award.

She joined Microsoft in January 2011 as general manager for Slovenia. Under her leadership, Slovenia became the company’s best performing subsidiary among small-developed countries. She received the Chairman’s award in 2012.

Following these achievements, Weber assumed the role of general manager of Microsoft Czech Republic in 2013, and then Microsoft Czech Republic and Slovakia. Under her leadership, the Czech Republic and Slovakia subsidiary significantly grew their overall business and cloud business in particular, overachieving the company’s expectations every year. Microsoft became #1 employer of choice in these two countries for three years in a row and attracted many top local and international talents. From early 2018 to early 2020, Biljana was senior director Business Applications at Microsoft for Western Europe, leading the Microsoft ERP and CRM business across 12 countries in Western Europe.

In March 2020, Weber took on a new professional challenge as vice president and managing director for HPE CERTA (Central Europe, Russia, Turkey and Africa)

Over the past two decades, she has received numerous public awards as recognition of her industry and social contributions including the "Arthemida," which is an award of Slovenian Management Association for Special Achievements in Management, as well as was ranked among Top 25 Women of Czech business 2014, 2015 and 2016. Biljana Weber is a member of World President Organisation (WPO), was member of the AmCham boards in Slovenia, Czech Republic and Slovakia, member of the board of Manager Association of Slovenia and member of the board of Young Executive Society (YES).

Weber is married and lives with her husband and daughter in Vienna, Austria.

Mag. Dr. iur. Matthias Wechner

Member of the Executive Board - SORAVIA Equity
Chief Executive Officer - ADOMO Holding

Mag. Dr. iur. Matthias WechnerMember of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

Mag. Dr. iur. Matthias Wechner received his law degree from the University of Innsbruck and his PhD from the University of Vienna. After finishing his studies, he worked for several years in the Austrian court system including the Higher Regional Court and Administrative Court in Vienna. Wechner was also a legal advisor of the minister in the Federal Ministry of National Defense and the deputy head of Cabinet for the Federal Ministry of the Interior. He joined G4S in 2008 as the director of Marketing and Sales and became the CEO of G4S Secure Solutions AG in early 2011. In July 2018, he became the CEO of Austria, Switzerland and Lichtenstein for Trenkwalder. In July 2019, SORAVIA appointed Wechner as a member of the Executive Board of SORAVIA Equity and CEO of ADOMO Holding.

Photo © Soravia

Dipl. Ing. Martin Winkler

Martin Winkler

Member of the WVPU Advisory Board since 2011

Martin Winkler held several management and executive positions in leading international corporations. After studying at the University for Mining and Engineering in Leoben, Austria, he started his career working for IBM, where over a period of 15 years he filled various sales and management positions. Following that he spent two years with Xerox where he built up Xerox Global Services successfully in Austria and Switzerland.

In Sept. 2007 he joined Oracle Austria to lead and transform the company into a leading technology provider for the Austrian market. He held overall responsibility for Oracle’s Austrian business until June 2022.

On top of his business priorities he has served as board member and president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Austria and as a board member of Internet Offensive Österreich for several years.

Winkler is married and has two children. He is a dedicated tennis player, golfer, mountain biker and loves to go out in the mountains.

Mag. Markus Brenner

Markus Brenner

For more than two decades, Mag. Markus Brenner has been a successful entrepreneur in the executive search industry. He began his career in management consulting in 1989 and shortly after became managing director (Austria and CEE) of an executive search and recruitment company, CATRO Personalsuche and Auswahl. He founded Brenner & Company in 2007 and has since then provided customized solutions for his clients’ needs — strongly focusing on integrity, transparency and personal commitment. In 2023, he was appointed regional director, EMEA of Agilium Worldwide Executive Search Group.

Apart from his business accomplishments, Brenner is a passionate sportsman. He is a golf enthusiast and was a tennis and hockey professional. His studies focus initially in electrical engineering and later in business administration at WU Vienna. He is married and has four children.

Emeritus Members

  • H.E. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, General Secretary, OPEC, (deceased July 2022)
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Bode, Former Gen.Manager,Glaxo Smith Kline GmbH; President of Pharma/Austria
  • Dr. Elizabeth Chopin, Webster Vienna Private University Campus Director 1988-1999
  • Ambassador William C. Eacho III., U.S. Embassy Vienna
  • Theresa Firestone, Former Managing Director, Pfizer Corporation Austria Gesellschaft m.b.H.
  • Sabine Fleischmann, Board Member, IBM Austria
  • Mark Garrett, Chief Executive Officer, Borealis AG
  • Lydia Goutas, MBA, Managing Partner of Lehner Executive Partners
  • KR Dipl. Ing. Rudolf Hamp, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board, HTI-AG
  • Prof. Dipl. Ing. Thomas Hintze, CEO Wananchi, Kenia; former Supervisory Board Chairman, UPC Austria
  • Dr. Arthur E. Hirsh, Webster Vienna Private University Campus Director 2000-2015
  • Dipl. Ing. Edwin Kiefer, Former Chairman of the Supervisory Board, OPEL Austria
  • Dr. Raoul Kneucker, Former Sektionschef at the Ministry for Education
  • Dr. Kurt Komarek, Former Rektor of the University of Vienna
  • Norbert Lessing, General Manager, Hilton Austria
  • Ing. Mag. Hans Lukits, Managing Director, BEWAG
  • Friederike Mautner Markhof, Mautner Markhof AG
  • Mag. Dr. Emil Mezgolits MA, Webster Class ‘82
  • Mag. Reinhard Möseneder, General Manager Austria & Switzerland, Colgate-Palmolive
  • Dr. Franz Markus Nestl, Senior Partner, GNBZ Graff Nestl Baurecht Rechtsanwälte
  • Mag. Harald Neumann, Chief Executive Officer, NOVOMATIC Group
  • Mag. Georg Obermeier, formerly Managing Director, Microsoft Austria
  • Dr. Richard A. Paulson, General Manager CEE, Amgen GmbH
  • Dr. Horst Pirker, CEO, Styria Media Group AG
  • Dr. Gerhard Puttner, CEO, Dr. Puttner Communications
  • Hugh Ripps, Director Global Systems Mgmt. Center, Coca-Cola Company
  • Mag. Monika Stoisser-Göring, CFO, AT&S Austria AG
  • The Honorable Kathryn Walt Hall, Former U.S. Ambassador to Austria
  • David Waller, Deputy Director General Vienna, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)