21st Century Industrialists

ERT's podcast series about change, leadership & life.

As the high-level forum bringing together the CEOs & Chairs of Europe’s best known industrial & technology companies, the European Round Table for Industry brings you a series of one-to-one interviews with business leaders, dealing with some of the key challenges of our time: energy transition, digital transformation, reskilling & upskilling and more. We talk about ERT Members about their background & education, the factors that influenced key moments in their careers and their assessment of the changes happening right now.


J-P Agon
Jean-Paul Agon

May 18, 2022

We kick off Season 2 with Jean-Paul Agon, long-standing Member of ERT and French business leader synonymous with one of France’s best known worldwide consumer brands: L’Oréal. We talk about beginnings, perceptions of beauty, crises, corporate strategy, the challenge of succeeding a legend and much more.

Thomas Leysen
Thomas Leysen

January 12, 2022

Belgium’s foremost industrialist tells us about his upbringing and early interest in business, media and environmental issues. As the chairman of businesses in a range of different sectors, we also hear about the strategic decisions that informed Union Miniere’s transformation into Umicore, the expansion of Mediahuis into a significant player […]

Paulo Azevedo
Paulo Azevedo

November 12, 2021

The Chairman of Sonae Group tells us about growing up in Portugal and England and the various stages of his ascent to the top of the Portuguese conglomerate. We talk about what drives his belief in people and why reskilling and lifelong learning matter so much to him, in the […]

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Alessandro Profumo

August 26, 2021

One of Italy’s best known business leaders talks with us about his teenage passion for basketball, his early start in banking, his time in consulting and more recent move into aviation and security, as the CEO of the Italian company, Leonardo. We also discuss the pressure on aviation in a […]

Nancy McKinstry
Nancy McKinstry

July 12, 2021

The CEO of WoltersKluwer talks about her childhood in rural Connecticut, her path from consulting into the world of publishing and the strategy she put in place at the 185 year old company to transform it into the leading information services company it is today.

Stefan Oschmann
Stefan Oschmann

June 5, 2021

We were fortunate enough to talk with Stefan Oschmann on his very last day as Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of the global biopharma company Merck Group, before he moved to the new role of Chair of the Board & Independent Director at UCB. In wide-ranging conversation, he […]

ERT-Tony Smurfit-LR
Tony Smurfit

April 15, 2021

The CEO of SmurfitKappa Group talks about his interest in business from an early age and what it was like growing up in a family synonymous with enterprise. He shares his insights on leadership during challenging times, what innovation looks like in the packaging business and why inflation is the […]

ERT-Ilham Kadri-V2
Dr. Ilham Kadri

March 6, 2021

The President & CEO of Solvay talks about her humble upbringing in Casablanca, her professional start in industry, some of the roles she took on earlier in her career and what she learned about overcoming barriers. She also tells us about her approach to transforming the 158 year old Belgian […]

C-H Svanberg 2_LR
Carl-Henric Svanberg

February 5, 2021

In a very open conversation, the Chair of ERT and Chairman of AB Volvo talks about his peripatetic upbringing in Sweden and shares lessons he learned from his experiences at the helm of companies in many industrial sectors, including Assa Abloy, Ericsson, BP and his current roles.