Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn and club president Herbert Hainer have the unenviable task of trying to replace Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeneß.
Both men know that will not be easy, but both believe that Bayern Munich headed in the right direction.
“We had a lot of challenges in football in the last year and a half. On the one hand, the pandemic, which brought economic and organizational challenges with it. In addition, the digital development has resulted in a completely different media landscape and different consumer behavior among young people. We have to master all these challenges,” Hainer said (as captured by the club website). “I am absolutely convinced that Oliver Kahn is exactly the right man for the future of FC Bayern. He has clear goals in mind, has acquired a lot of economic competence and he is FC Bayern through and through. He made history as a goalkeeper and I’m convinced he will as a manager too.”
Hainer, who had a head start on Kahn, said he knew the former goalkeeper was the right person for the job.
“At the time, we selected Oliver Kahn very specifically because we proceeded according to certain criteria - we wanted to have a football specialist who knew FC Bayern, but also had the economic competence to run the football club,” said Hainer. “He now had 18 months to to get to know the ‘new’ FC Bayern and all its departments again. A lot has developed. He worked closely with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. And so also to get to know the contacts. And what is very important: He was in charge of the FC Bayern AHEAD strategy project . He used the time incredibly well. I saw him very actively and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Kahn said that he new he could do the job eventually, but knew wanted to gain a lot of experience before taking such a power spot at the club.
“It was already my aim that when FC Bayern approach me, we should give each other a certain amount of time so that I can find my way in this ‘new’ FC Bayern again,” Kahn said. “It was a very important time. There were many projects, I was involved in. It was also important to make international contacts. These one-and-a-half years have made me feel very comfortable and have the necessary tools.”
Kahn said his management style will be collaborative and have a focus on innovation.
“I rely very much on teamwork and am a very strategic person. Of course, you can’t plan everything at a football club. But the planning process alone is extremely important. We involved employees and fans in the AHEAD project,” Kahn said. “I am convinced that the clubs that understand their fans will be successful. There is always some homework to do. But it’s not about having to make something completely new out of FC Bayern.”
As for Rummenigge and Hoeneß, Kahn appreciates all they have done.
“They have shaped FC Bayern and made it one of the world’s best clubs. They are great challenges,” said Kahn. “All of us at FC Bayern are called upon to continue to make the club as successful as possible in the future and to develop it step by step in one area or another.”