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Press Release

Michael Heritsch Elected Crisis Manager of the Year

March 16, 2023

“Crisis management is always a team effort,” says the CEO of FHWien der WKW. In the election organized by Leadersnet, he reached first place in the category “Education” for the second time.

Vienna, March 16, 2023 – In 2022, Austria’s economy faced several crises at once: Corona was not over yet when the war in Ukraine began. Inflation skyrocketed, especially energy became massively more expensive. In such times, companies need competent crisis managers. At universities, too, it is important to keep calm, maintain an overview and make the right decisions despite uncertain conditions. This makes the recent victory of Michael Heritsch, CEO of FHWien der WKW, in the category “Education” of the voting for Crisis Manager of the Year 2022 even more gratifying. The business online portal Leadersnet had invited people to vote for this award.

Offering students a high-quality education even in times of crisis

“Winning this vote for the second time in a row is really incredible,” Michael Heritsch is glad to say. “This time, too, the honor goes to the entire team at our university of applied sciences – because crisis management is always a team effort.” Only by joining forces, he says, was it possible to maintain the usual quality of study operations during the pandemic. For students, faculty and staff of FHWien der WKW, these years have been equally demanding, emphasizes the CEO. “We have done our best, always keeping two goals in mind: to continue to offer students a high-quality, hands-on education while protecting the health of everyone involved,” Heritsch continues. The year 2022 brought new challenges and thus no respite in crisis management, he added.

Evaluation by expert jury and audience

During the election of the best “Crisis Manager 2022” by Leadersnet, it was possible to vote on around 400 managers of Austrian companies and organizations from 14 areas. Winners were chosen in each area. The questionnaire asked about the digital competence, credibility and flexibility of the managers. The results were based on the assessment of a top-class jury of experts as well as on a public vote in which more than 30,000 people participated.

About Michael Heritsch

Ing. Mag. (FH) Michael Heritsch, MSc is the CEO of FHWien der WKW. In this role, he is responsible for the continuous growth and successful development of the university of applied sciences. Heritsch, who comes from Graz, began his career in the Austrian Armed Forces. Positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Motorola followed. In 2003 he joined FHWien der WKW, where he had completed a part-time degree program in executive management two years earlier, as Head of IT and Finance. In 2006 he was appointed CEO. The number of graduates from the university of applied sciences, which specializes in management and communication, has risen from 2,000 to over 13,600 during his tenure.


Michael Heritsch, CEO of FHWien der WKW, won the vote for Crisis Manager 2022 in the category “Education”. The voting had been organized by Leadersnet.
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FHWien der WKW – University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication 

FHWien der WKW is Austria’s leading university of applied sciences for management & communication. Working in close contact with Austrian corporations, FHWien der WKW offers comprehensive and practice-oriented academic programs to over 2,800 Bachelor’s and Master’s students. Two thirds of our teaching staff have a background in business. Our programs are tailored to the needs of companies, optimally preparing our students for their future careers. Since its foundation in 1994, FHWien der WKW has already produced over 13,600 graduates.


Bernhard Witzeling
Head of Corporate Communication, Marketing and Alumni & Career Services, Press Officer
Tel.: +43 (1) 476 77-5731