Vienna House CFO Johanna Weichselbaumer can look back on many years of experience at Austria’s largest hotel group. But thanks to an exciting professional environment, things are never boring for the Vienna native. On the contrary, every day holds new challenges in store. Find out more in our “Face to Face” interview.
1. Ms. Weichselbaumer, you’ve been with Vienna House since 1991. That almost makes you a founding member. What has changed at Vienna House in all this time?
There certainly have been many different phases at Vienna House. I would even say that, because of the different people at the company’s helm, Vienna House has experienced constant change since its founding – after all, each CEO brings in his own personality, strengths, know-how and wishes. So I can definitively say that the many different responsibilities present the Vienna House team with new challenges every day – which also makes for a very exciting and varied occupation. And that’s exactly what gives me so much pleasure in this job personally.
2. The company was founded in 1989. Just two years later, you were there “live”. What do you find inspiring about your job? Where do you see your strengths?
My career at Vienna House began the classic way as assistant (junior) controller. Even then, I was already very interested in the world of numbers and the organisational and administrative work gave me a lot of pleasure. My next position was as project manager in the field of development. Location studies, research, and cost/benefit analyses were part of my daily to-dos.
Since 2004, I’ve been in charge of the financial planning of Vienna House as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and I am also managing director of all subsidiaries. I like to describe myself as the company’s objective “conscience”. In this role, I sometimes have to reject projects if they are not feasible or do not promise success. I particularly love working together with lawyers and evaluating contracts and other documents from a legal perspective, and you can often find me absorbed in mountains of paperwork – with a smile on my face :-).
3. When you spend your private holiday at a Vienna House hotel, where do you go?
When I ask my two children (ages 12 and 14) where they would like to go on holiday, I always get the same answer: the Vienna House Loipersdorf in beautiful Styria. There I can draw new energy and spend some relaxing days with my family. It has really become a home away from home. Good food and real people are very important for me if I want rest and relaxation.
4. Give us a Vienna House insider tip!
Visit the andel’s by Vienna House Lodz! From an architectural perspective alone, this is an exceptional gem. And don’t miss out on the indoor panorama pool in the skySPAce – best enjoyed at sunset or first thing in the morning before breakfast.
5. And finally: What about your hobbies – how do you spend your free time?
[Laughs] Free time? I spend my free time at work! Or with my two girls. But seriously: In the winter, I love to go skiing and I go swimming in the summer. My New Year’s resolution this year was to pay more attention to myself and to regularly go to the fitness studio for a good workout – I’m really going to start this week!
Before I forget: I really love to travel. This year I will visit Sardinia, Cyprus and the New York City marathon.
Thank you for the interview!