Oliver Kahn named 'Innovator of the Year 2022'


He's a man with the courage to set new goals - that's how the jury explained why Oliver Kahn deserves to receive this year's "Innovator of the Year 2022" award: The FC Bayern CEO accepted the accolade on Friday evening in Berlin in front of around 230 invited guests. Last year, astronaut Dr Matthias Maurer received the prestigious award from the German Business Association (Die Deutsche Wirtschaft, or DDW), in 2019 it went to Wladimir Klitschko. In total, it has been awarded six times so far. "Oliver Kahn represents very special virtues of success worldwide and thus establishes a reputation that reflects on the performance of Germany and its economy as a whole," explained the jury: "In his personal career, he has never lost the courage to change and the power of innovation - he exemplifies the innovative spirit of daring to do something new."

Kahn award ceremony
Kahn accepted the award in the presence of his wife in Berlin on Friday evening.

Kahn explained at the award ceremony: "In life, it is crucial to continue to develop. It still happens to me from time to time that people are surprised when I don't do a slide tackle across the desk at meetings in the office - as I used to do as a goalkeeper on the pitch. Why should I? When I started my studies in Salzburg after my playing career, I said to my fellow students during the introductory round: 'I'm Oliver Kahn, I used to be a goalkeeper'. Everyone smiled - but I was serious: it was time for me to develop."

Kahn: "Never rest and always be open to something new"

In his leadership style, it is important for the FC Bayern CEO to encourage others to be creative, to make their decisions and to implement them with full commitment, as the 53-year-old added: "In my eyes, it is incumbent on all of us to always learn, to never rest and to always be open to something new. If we can inspire others and not impose any prohibitions on thinking, we will succeed in pushing something forward. That's the only way to achieve something - for yourself, but also as part of something bigger, in a team, in an alliance where you motivate and inspire each other."

Here's a summary of the CEO's speech at this year's annual general meeting: