Barbara Schädler | Influence 100

Barbara Schädler

Head of Group Communications 



Barbara Schädler may only have joined Roche a few months before the coronavirus hit, in her first foray into pharmaceutical comms, but she has garnered real insight into her new sector and the multiple global communications challenges around the development of vaccines and treatments during the pandemic impressively quickly.

Schädler seems to impress wherever she goes: as she left her previous role at European electric company E.On, chief executive Johannes Teyssen said she had “significantly enhanced the company‘s public reputation as well as employee involvement” in her three years with the firm. Schädler had joined E.On from Lufthansa, where she spent three years as SVP of communications. Before joining the airline, Schadler was global communications SVP at SAP. She was also the CEO and founder of Impact Consult, and has worked at Fujitsu Siemens and the German Ministry of Finance.

As head of global communications at the world’s largest biotech, Schädler is a member of its Extended Executive Committee, and is also a founder member of Global Women in PR Deutschland.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?Crisis communications at Lufthansa after the GermanWings Crash.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
To prove the value-add to the business. And to avoid a lot of not useful activities.

What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?
The fast change that the industry has gone through and is still going through.

What has most disappointed you about this industry over the past year?
That still too many agencies are more focussed on winning deals instead of really adding value.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
Quite a number of them. I really liked a biography about Winston Churchill.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
Be a cook and run my own restaurant.

Sum up 2021.
A year with many more opportunities than the previous one, but still with high risks for people’s health.