Lonely at the Top:

Chief executive officers: What do we really know about them? Apart from the fact that they are extremely powerful, earn a great deal of money, and make important decisions that affect the futures of many, many people. Their lifestyles are often regarded critically – with skepticism, but also a dose of envy. They are not particularly numerous, and are far from approachable. A species unto themselves. What makes them tick? What drives them onward, fires their passions? And who serves as a corrective to their power? Are they subject to self-doubt, or are they simply immune? How lonely is it way up there at the top? In times of war or crisis, they have a lot to say about how things proceed. Concerning the reorganization of Germany in the coming decades, the type of economic system that will prevail. It comes down to existential questions about our collective future: How can the values of independence, morality, sustainability, and a good, comfortable life be reconciled with one another, and what visions for the future are cultivated by CEOs in their respective economic sectors? What is the nature of their interactions with political life, and how do they perceive their roles in the context of current political events? The film accompanies men and women whose influence helps to shape life in Germany – group of individuals who confront special challenges in the current crisis.
For the first time, six CEOs provide insight into their profession and how they envision the future in a long-term accompaniment. Martin Brudermüller (BASF), Markus Duesmann (AUDI), Sigrid Nikutta (Deutsche Bahn, Cargo), Annette Mann (Austrian Airlines), Leonard Birnbaum (EON), Daniel Grieder (BOSS).

Buch / Regie

Nicola Graef


2023, WDR, HR, MDR, 3SAT

90 min.