Ekrem Yigitdoel as new Managing Director of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance

Reinach, Schweiz, 1 October 2021

With immediate effect, the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance will be led and represented by Ekrem Yigitdoel as Managing Director. Thus, the alliance is strengthening its core team and setting the course for continued successful positioning in the Industry 4.0 market. Ekrem Yigitdoel has been part of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance since its founding and previously held responsibility for the board area “Marketing & Communication” in his role as Vice President Cooperation & Joint Venture Management at Voith – a member of the Alliance as well.

As Managing Director, Ekrem Yigitdoel reports to the Board. The position of Managing Director was newly created by the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance, on the one hand to do justice to the strong influx – with currently more than 80 members – and on the other hand to professionally align the structure of the organisation. The aim is to further expand the membership base and ensure that everyone benefits from the Alliance on an ongoing basis through their membership.

As a former employee of Voith, Ekrem Yigitdoel brings the cumulative expertise to actively support the course of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance and to further establish the support and cooperation opportunities of the Alliance members in the market.

“I am very happy and proud to receive the trust of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance to shape our vision and mission together with the member companies and to bring our vision into reality,” said Ekrem Yigitdoel, Managing Director der Open Industry 4.0 Alliance. “We had a very good start two years ago, a significant growth in membership and maturity of the OI4 organization. The foundation is laid to continue now with implementation projects of OI4 compliant solutions. Those implementations will happen at our member companies but also at customers of our members.”

Open Industry 4.0 Alliance to be further expanded

The technology company Voith will remain part of the Alliance's Board of Directors and will be represented by Dr. Benedikt Hofmann, Chief Technology Officer for Automation, Digitalisation, AI & Drive Technology at Voith. Previously, Dr. Benedikt Hofmann held various management positions at Voith in the field of digitalisation and mobility and worked as a manager at McKinsey&Co, before joining Voith.   

“I am pleased to be able to contribute to the faster, simpler and value-creating digitization of the industry via OI4.”  said Dr. Benedikt Hofmann.

The alliance is getting an additional support of Sebastian Hilscher. Sebastian will be part of the board with immediate effect and will succeed Hans-Jürgen Hilscher who  will remain at the Alliance for a certain transition period.

Sebastian Hilscher has been CEO of Hilscher Gesellschaft für Systemautomation mbH. Sebastian was previously responsible as CTO for the further development of netX, Hilscher's core technology, and has already celebrated great successes with it.

"The Open Industry 4.0 Alliance is a key piece of the industrial digitalization. I am excited to be part of this fundamental change towards a production in a digital environment," said Sebastian Hilscher.

3 Questions for Ekrem Yigitdoel

I was previously Vice President at Voith, responsible for their proprietary IoT platform as well as collaborations and cooperation with other industrial companies. In this role, I have already represented Voith on the board of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance since 2019 as a founding member. I am therefore very familiar with the tasks of the alliance from a corporate perspective and would now like to advance the digital transformation of manufacturing plants at a higher level with as many member companies as possible. After a total of 13 years at Voith, it is easier for me to say goodbye, as I will remain closely connected with my former colleagues through our joint work in the alliance.

As Managing Director, I am the first full-time employee of Allianz and will in particular be responsible for driving forward the further development of Allianz: Industry working groups, member companies, projects and, in the medium to long term, the strategic orientation and internationalization of the alliance will be the main focus. With more than 90 member companies, the alliance has now reached a point where its ambitious goals can no longer be achieved without full-time staff. A Technical Director will soon join the core team. This will equip us for the future and ensure that our members continue to benefit fully from the alliance. We want to be the first point of contact for member companies and our members' customers in all matters relating to digitization in the industry.

I already presented a concrete plan to the board on my first day at work. Based on this, the common goals were then agreed, which are essentially based on three pillars: The first pillar is to stabilize the core of the alliance. That is, the cooperation of the working groups and the organization of our service office. The second pillar is growth and visibility to the outside world, as well as cooperation with other organizations. Last but not least, and in close coordination with the future technical director, the technological orientation and opinion formation of the alliance on Industry 4.0 topics. Here, I would also like to query the end customer perspective more than before. One example of this is the recent C-level event at our member company Multivac, where I have already had the opportunity to appear in my new role. This will be followed by SPS 2021 in November and the Alliance's Annual General Meeting at the beginning of December.


  • Ekrem Yigitdoel as new Managing Director of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance
    docx | 89 KB

For more information, please contact the press team: