Kathrin Holzberg

Kathrin Holzberg, HR Division Manager at Heine


My way in the Otto Group

I started on a Trainee Programme in OTTO Sales in 1997, which prepared me for my first role as a young manager in a Call Centre in Berlin. This was a formative experience in direct contact with our customers, which I still find useful even today! 

Three years later, I switched to the area of Logistics. My Call Centre knowledge of all the relevant interfaces and my management experience in dealing with large company units were in high demand here. I became Department Head in a large Returns facility. When Hermes Fulfilment was founded as a logistics company, I became Head of Returns Processing. 

Seven years later, I wanted a career change from Logistics and accepted an opportunity to move to the newly created Human Resources Division at Hermes Fulfilment, where I became Head of Recruitment, HR Development and Internal Communication. Besides exciting new learning opportunities in a totally new specialist area, for me the new role meant a switch from line management into the management staff, moving from a decision-maker to become an advisor, and from leading operational groups to leading experts – a great opportunity for personal development.  

Two years later, I was offered a move to Otto Group headquarters. I became Team Lead for Internal Communication in the Otto Group’s Corporate Communications Division and for two years, I led a large project for the implementation of a global intranet platform. I made contacts with people in all participating Otto Group companies, and three years ago I received an offer from Heinrich Heine GmbH in Karlsruhe to take on the position of Division Manager HR and Service. In this position I am now responsible for the whole bandwidth of HR management tasks, for Facility Management, the canteen and other central functions.

A unique experience for me was the interview for my second position in the Otto Group, which was Department Head in Logistics – at this point, I was seven months pregnant. I was offered the job and started after 4 months of maternal leave. This trust in me, that I would cope with changes both in the job and hierarchy, and becoming a mother at the same time, and the courage of those responsible to take this decision, made a deep and lasting impression on me. 

I very much enjoy working in the Otto Group. It offers so many opportunities for development – and my own career is a very good example!