Holger Rathgeber


Holger Rathgeber has worked with Dr. John Kotter on various publishing and executive education programs since 2004, and has over 15 years experience working with organizations to help them implement their strategies.

Holger spent most of his career with Motorola and Becton Dickinson (BD). Until recently, he served as Vice President, HR Europe for Becton Dickinson, a Fortune 500 company.  He has worked and lived on three continents and has been intimately involved in decision-making, planning and implementation of some of the most challenging business scenarios including acquisitions, radical shifts in go-to-market model and strategy, and turn-around. 

Throughout his career, Holger has been instrumental in building strong leadership teams and alignment among team members. In addition, he designed and delivered multiple leadership team interventions to drive effective strategy development, alignment and execution.

At BD, he co-led a company-wide organizational profiling project, which involved hundreds of leaders globally, to identify barriers in the execution of company strategy and engage them in their removal. He partnered with the CFO to facilitate the creation of the Operational Excellence Council as the highest governance body to drive increased alignment of supply chain strategies across a complex business-function-region matrix.

After reading Dr. Kotter’s seminal work Leading Change, Holger developed a change leadership session for his peers at a worldwide conference, creating a story of a colony of penguins living on a melting iceberg to illustrate the 8-Step Process for Leading Change. The success of the session prompted Holger to share his presentation with Dr. Kotter, which ultimately led to the two co-authoring the book Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions in 2006.

Holger holds a degree in Economics from the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim.  He lives in Wiesbaden, Germany with his wife and two sons.


Sign up to receive our newsletter and emails from Dr. John Kotter.

Leadership Biographies