Michael Sommer is a Senior Partner at Kessel & Kessel GmbH. Having served many years as Chairman of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), he boasts in-depth knowledge of economic and political processes and actors within Germany and on the international stage. In this context for instance, he worked with entrepreneurs and the German government to help steer Germany out of the global financial crisis.
As a long-standing member in several German supervisory committees, Michael has gained comprehensive insights into the inner workings of large corporations, and various sectors within the financial, telecommunications and steel industries. He has vast leadership experience as a top executive and gained valuable negotiating and management experience in various committees and organizations. In addition, he is an expert in public administration as well as the public broadcasting and banking sectors.
Michael studied political science at the Freie Universität Berlin and was a Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He had also worked at the Federal Post Office and upon completing his studies, assumed the press and public relations portfolio of the German Postal Union, where he was Deputy Chairman and Treasurer until the founding of the German United Services Trade Union.
From 2002 to 2014, Michael led the German Trade Union Federation and was Chairman of the Hans Böckler Foundation. Besides being the Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Deutsche Postbank, he was member of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Telekom AG and Salzgitter AG for more than 18 years as well as a long-serving member of the Board of Directors of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). He was a member of the Senate of The Frauenhofer Society, the Board of Trustees of the Deutscher Zukunftspreis, and the Rationalisierungs-Kuratoriums der Deutschen Wirtschaft. On the international front, he was President of the International Trade Union Confederation, Vice-President of the European Trade Union Confederation, and German delegate to the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Michael is currently Chairman of the Finance Committee of the ZDF Board of Directors, Deputy Chairman of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and is a member of the Supervisory Board of ZDF Enterprises, the Board of Trustees of the Volkswagen Foundation, the Advisory Board of DT Capital Partners, and the Sustainability Advisory Board of Volkswagen AG.