A top HR professional, his expertise lies in shaping work cultures and tapping unused potential in people

Heiko Hutmacher

Chief Human Resources Officer & Labor Director, Member of the Management Board, Metro AG, Dusseldorf, Germany

Why you should listen

Heiko Hutmacher stands for the implementation of a new working culture at Metro, a food service company and one of the world’s 4 largest retailers in the hospitality industry. He set up the once very traditional company for the working world of the future and at the same time moderated the accompanying transformation processes.

Heiko oversees Metro’s HR, IT, and Sustainability, placing him in charge of more than 200,000 employees. He has turned processes in the company very agile, and very close to customers. He is always on the lookout for the best programs that can develop the employees of the business he works in, focusing more on the unused potential in their characters than the undiscovered capabilities.

Previously, he worked on different continents for IBM and AkzoNobel.

Meet Heiko at Worldwebforum 2020 where he is a Mckinsey Track Speaker.


METRO is a leading international wholesale company with food and non-food assortments that specialises on serving the needs of hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent traders. Around the world, METRO has some 24 million customers who can choose whether to shop in one of the large-format stores, order online and collect their purchases at the store or have them delivered. METRO in addition also supports the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and freelancers with digital solutions and thereby contributes to cultural diversity in retail and hospitality.

Sustainability is a key pillar of METRO’s business. METRO has been the sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the last four years. The company operates in 36 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2017/18, METRO generated sales of €36.5 billion. In September 2018 METRO AG initiated the divestment process for the food retail chain Real with its 34,000 employees.



Heiko Hutmacher has had a very international career. He has worked in Human Resources, an area he has great passion for, across four continents. While he admits that initially he was not attracted to working for METRO, it was the internationality and growth of the company that convinced him to move back to his home country and has kept him there for the past five years.

Heiko, who now serves on the Board of Management, overseeing areas including HR, IT, and Sustainability, emphasises, “METRO is a very global player with a very international environment, very agile, and very close to customers.” He believes that the international nature of the company, ability to work directly with customers, and opportunities for career growth, make METRO appealing not only to job seekers, but especially to those with a hospitality background.

METRO focuses heavily on its customers, the main segment being those from the HoReCa sector. People who succeed at METRO have good analytical and strategic thinking capabilities matched with a pragmatic and hands-on style, and above all, are customer focused. “What we’re looking for is to attract people in all countries,” he says, “whether in a headquarter or a store-based environment, and those that can bring the thinking capability together with the doing capability.”