Interview with Peter Terium

Chief Executive OfficerRWE AG

"Shale gas development, with the lower gas prices it will bring, really supports fundamental economic growth in the United States."

"In today’s uncertain environment, we need to become financially more robust."

"Within the territory that we already focus on, we want to have a more international exchange of our activities; we think cross-border optimisation, further integration of the organisation and more international diversity in our management teams are going to be key to continued growth."

"Growth is not necessarily about revenue growth. In this uncertain environment there is more and more emphasis on bottom line growth. We have a very clear focus that we should not go for revenue growth which doesn’t necessarily give guaranteed bottom line growth."

"Very importantly, the energy transition in the Eurozone is giving us new business opportunities: we will be investing not only in offshore wind and onshore wind, but also in decentralised solutions and intelligent or smart solutions around the grid."

"Very clearly the most important threat to our business is the development of the Eurozone. We firmly believe in the Eurozone staying together but if it were to break up, that would have a clear impact on our development. It is the major threat."

"The level of external threats impacting our company is certainly increasing. Three years ago the Fukushima event hadn’t happened and the crisis in the Eurozone hadn’t manifested itself. The economic environment is clearly impacting on our company and I don’t see that changing for the next few years."

"We’ve seen significant government intervention in the energy system in Europe and specifically in Germany. Post-Fukushima, the German government decided almost overnight to have a forced scale down of nuclear power, with further capacity phased out by 2022."

"Whether it is natural disasters or pandemics, health or cyber attacks, we’ve always been part of a critical infrastructure and therefore under government control. That means that we work together with government departments in making sure that this critical infrastructure remains available in times of disruption."

"Yes, we are having to adapt throughout the organisation. We are facing a lot of changes:."

"This company used to be like a large tanker carrying a lot of cargo but with a lot of certainty and a low paced base. In order to make a U-turn with a tanker you’ve really got to get everything in place."

"It’s about trust instead of bureaucracy and control-mindedness. It’s about outward orientation much more than inward orientation. It’s about teamwork and international diversification."

"We are having to adapt throughout the organisation. We are facing a lot of changes: in the market environment; in the product portfolio; and in the way we are sourcing. All of that is driven by the energy transition that has been initiated in Germany."

"We look at the health of our organisation. What are the mental models that were developed in the past and now stand in the way of developing our future? It’s about trust instead of bureaucracy and control-mindedness. It’s about outward orientation much more than inward orientation."

"We have a very broad environment of stakeholders that we need to manage and that is not easy. Currently, there is a lack of trust for large institutions such as banks or large government institutions."


As part of PwC's 16th Annual Global CEO Survey, we spoke with Peter Terium, Chief Executive Officer of RWE AG. In this short video, Peter talks about adapting to change, corporate responsibility and developing environmentally-efficient practices.

Peter was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Executive Board of RWE AG on 1 July 2012. Prior to that, he held various positions within the firm: Member of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Board of RWE AG, Essen, Chief Executive Officer, Essent N.V., Chief Executive Officer of RWE Supply & Trading GmbH (RWEST), Essen, Member of the Executive Board at RWE Umwelt AG, Viersen and Head of Group Controlling at RWE AG, Essen.

Peter was also Audit Supervisor at KPMG, Eindhoven and Independent auditor working for the Dutch Ministry of Finance.
These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.


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