Managing Directors

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Bringing progress to the company

Article: Managing Directors

Nicole Göbel (Chair of the Board of Managing Directors), Ilka Friese (Finance & Controlling), Dr Ing. Klaus Rüffler (Human Resources) and Gerald Hofer (Operations) are in charge of DB Systel.

Nicole Göbel, Chair of the Board of Managing Directors

Nicole Göbel studied tourism focusing on IT and marketing. She began her career at Bertelsmann, where she took on management tasks in call and fulfilment centres. Her duties included managing IT projects. In 2001, she moved to Accenture, a management and strategy consulting company, where she was responsible for various Deutsche Bahn projects. Nicole Göbel also supported other major players from the transport, travel and logistics industries in complex digital transformation processes. Most recently, she served as European Rail and Public Transport Lead at Accenture, assuming responsibility for clients including Deutsche Bahn. Nicole Göbel is an honorary member of the presiding committee of the Travel Industry Club, which brings together thought leaders from the tourism industry.

Nicole Göbel has been Chair of the Board of Managing Directors at DB Systel since 1 February 2022.

Ilka Friese, Managing Director Finance/Controlling

After studying economics at the University of Freiburg, Ilka Friese began her professional career as team leader for finances at GE CompuNet. In 2001, she moved to Softlab, an IT consulting and services company belonging to the BMW Group, where she was head of accounting and cash flow forecasting. Softlab was sold to NTT DATA, a global provider of business and IT solutions, in 2008. In 2009, Friese took on responsibility for Softlab’s finance department and also consolidation at the European level for NTT DATA Tokyo. This international experience still shapes her mindset today. In 2012, she became Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for NTT DATA in the Germany, Austria and Switzerland region (DACH). When she was made Managing Director of NTT DATA DACH in 2016, she combined her financial expertise with strategic vision. In this role, her sphere of responsibility grew to include topics such as human resources and transformations.

Ilka Friese has been Managing Director Finance/Controlling at DB Systel since 1 March 2022.

Dr Klaus Rüffler, Managing Director Human Resources

Dr Klaus Rüffler holds a doctorate in law. After studying law at the universities of Mainz and Frankfurt am Main, he began his career as an in-house lawyer in various companies in the construction and real estate industry. Since 2000, he has held various management positions at Deutsche Bahn AG. He was Head of Legal Affairs for Track Infrastructure, and from 2005 until the end of 2008, Head of Civil Servant Affairs.

Dr Klaus Rüffler has been Managing Director of Human Resources at DB Systel since 1 December, 2008.

Gerald Hofer, Managing Director Operations

Gerald Hofer

Gerald Hofer is a business economist (VWA) and started his career as a freelance consultant and project manager for infrastructure and IT. While working in various management positions, including as Vice President Application Line at T-Systems International, he also completed postgraduate courses, including a Master of Science in Strategic Information Management.

In 2005, he moved to DB Systel GmbH as Head of Data Centre and took on further leadership roles until 2014, including as Head of Business Development (ppa.). In 2014, he left DB Systel to work for QSC AG as Head of ICT Operations and Member of the Executive Board (ppa.).

In November 2015, Hofer returned to DB Systel and took over the position of Managing Director Operations.