He is the CEO of Siemens Mobility Israel and, since March 2021, has also been the CEO of Siemens Israel Regional Company: Zahi Golan. This is a manager who has played an instrumental role in the growth of Siemens in the “promised land”.
Zahi Golan is the epitome of modesty when questioned about himself and his story. The likeable manager shies away from the spotlight, despite having chalked up some impressive career achievements. A business economist by background, he has been a member of the Siemens family for more than 12 years. He’s passionate about his profession and what he does at Siemens. Having started out as Head of SCM Israel, he now holds two top executive positions.
The manager lives in Kidron, a small nice village situated between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In the COVID time, this is mainly where he steers the businesses of Siemens Mobility and Siemens Israel Limited in his capacity as CEO. He describes his activities at Siemens Mobility as “hands-on” tasks. He and his team have sound part in the execution of the giant project regarding the delivery of 60 Desiro HC trains destined to provide support for Israel’s railway network. These trains are marking the beginning of the electrification era in Israel railways network providing an enhanced passenger experience and climate friendly mobility.
The positions are very different, but that’s precisely what makes life so exciting for me.
Zahi emphasizes that his new job as CEO of Siemens Israel has different characteristics and requires him to use “several managerial muscles”.
Inspired by the Muppet Show
It quickly becomes apparent in conversation with Zahi that the 51-year-old already knew at an early stage that he wanted to be a manager. One interesting story he tells takes him back to a scene of the famous Muppet Show. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy inspired him so much that he adopted the punchline to one of his main mottos. So which scene was it? It was one in which Miss Piggy asked Kermit to do something, and Kermit complained that he didn’t have time for it. Miss Piggy’s retort: “Kermit: make time!” Zahi has lived by precisely this motto – set priorities in order to make time for what really matters – all the way through his career. Despite his many successes, he has encountered a number of challenges that weren’t always so easy to overcome. But his other motto, to stay resilient, has served him well in many sticky situations.
The SCM Global Development Program (GDP): a turning point in his career
Zahi Golan was part of the GDP’s first wave back in 2012. In his then position as Head of Supply Chain Management of Siemens Israel, he satisfied all the application criteria for the GDP. By putting himself forward as a candidate, he wanted to take the opportunity to inject new impetus into his career development. He looks back fondly on this time: “It enabled me to get to know a lot of great people and build an extensive network”. It’s the meetings in Feldafing that stick in his mind most of all. Another highlight of this period in his career was his stint as moderator at the SCM World Conference in Feldafing (see picture).
His advice to junior colleagues: “Don’t hesitate – apply for the GDP!” The program opens up major career opportunities, enabling participants to acquire valuable personal development skills and come into contact with management. He absolutely recommends giving it a shot.
A supportive family
When he’s not traveling on Siemens’ behalf, he spends a lot of time with his family. He couldn’t have come this far without their support, which he sees as a key success factor. “I’m indebted to my family for having my back and giving me the freedom to focus on my career development”. When he wants to take a step back from the work routine, Zahi likes to spend his free time running or traveling. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the manager was a frequent visitor to Germany. He even spent one Christmas in Nuremberg with his family.
Where does he see himself in the next ten years? That’s a question that makes Zahi chuckle. “I haven’t really given it that much consideration”, he explains. “I still have a lot to do in my current role”. His goal is to be able to support his teams even more effectively in pursuing their ambitions. “I think I’d like to focus on working in a consulting capacity at some point”.
We wish Zahi Golan every success in his professional and personal journey! Would you like to follow Zahi Golan on LinkedIn or get in touch with him directly? Click here.
Fact check: The GDP @ Siemens SCM
The Global Development Program is a certified potential development program at Siemens AG. It is intended for all potential high flyers in Procurement with at least five years of professional experience. The program extends over 24 months and encompasses both professional development activities and practical work on SCM-related projects. The participants commit themselves to engaging in the program alongside their regular duties and contributing their ideas. The GDP lives on the input from the participants. In exchange, they receive tailor-made training courses and the opportunity to swap ideas and enhance their visibility at management level as well as build an extensive international network.