Passing the baton at AV Stumpfl

Tobias Stumpfl has just taken over the reigns of the family business, so what can we expect from AV Stumpfl under his leadership?

In these days of global restructures, venture capital and mergers and acquisitions, it's probably easy to dismiss a family-run company as a rather twee, outdated concept. But you'd be a fool to dismiss AV Stumpfl so quickly.

The Austrian manufacturer of production screens and media and control systems has just invested €7 million of its profits in building a Competence Center dedicated to the R&D of new software and hardware. You would also be a fool to dismiss the new CEO, Tobias Stumpfl, on getting the top job solely on his surname – his parents (Reinhold and Ulli) own the company and founded it back in 1975.

Tobias has an engineering degree behind him, but almost as important as that, he has had his office in the company since he was 12 years old (he is now 32), so no one knows the business better. Having recently taken over the reigns as CEO, will we see any significant changes?

Don’t bet on it, "My parents and I have the same opinions and values about the main topics. Of course there will be some new things we’ll implement, but there will be no major changes in the philosophy."

The core of AV Stumpfl's customers are integrators and companies in the rental and staging world. So how does it make sure its products give them what they need? "It's a combination of inviting them into our office, going to visit them and talking to them at exhibitions. We do spend a lot of time visiting our clients, so we can discuss it over a few hours, in a more relaxed atmosphere (than at an exhibition). We also have people visit here so they can speak directly to the developers. We also bring developers to the customers so they can learn about the application and the vision."

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