Karoly Pataki

All my life, I have been fascinated by people who make a difference and inspire others. By this I mean more than just charisma – it is about the perceptible will to develop oneself and others while acting consistently and consciously. My own path of life has also been determined by this attitude.

Having grown up as the son of a family of diplomats in Hungary, Italy and Germany, I learnt early on to observe people very closely, to adapt to new constellations and to understand diverse situations as an opportunity to develop. After studying economics in Berlin in 1990 and completing my postgraduate studies in Mexico City, I returned to Hungary in 1991 with a degree in economics, where I joined the newly founded Robert Bosch GmbH in Budapest in the position of Commercial Director, delivering pioneering work until 1997.

The following 15 years, I held various senior positions in the paper and packaging industry in the Central and Eastern European region, during an era marked by euphoria, crisis and, eventually, normalisation. What did the stations of my career – Deputy General Director in Hungary, Managing Director in Austria, Poland and Bulgaria, member of the advisory board in Romania and in Ukraine, and lastly CFO of an international industry group – have in common? A high degree of responsibility and creative drive, the constant management of vastly different stakeholders and their needs, and the opportunity of identifying and developing people and their potential.

In 2012, I received an offer to work in the personnel services sector, initially holding the position of Member of the Board of the Trenkwalder Group responsible for the CEE and SEE regions. From 2013, I headed the entire Trenkwalder Group as CEO and Chairman of the Board.

During my almost twenty years’ experience as member or chairperson of supervisory and advisory boards – and thus as controlling, advising and sparring partner for the C-suite – I have learned a lot about people, organisations and systems: First and foremost, it taught me the necessary prudence when working with highly diverse stakeholder groups, the benefits of a professional social dialogue, the handling of the responsibility for thousands of employees and also the different approaches to tackling major strategic questions concerning all areas of innovation and digitisation.

Against this background, I founded my own personnel consulting company Gravitas in 2017, where I share my experiences in the dialogue with top decision-makers from all over the world and accompany my clients on their journey to reaching their full potential in their careers.


  • Member of Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) in London

  • Member of the Senate of Economy in Vienna

  • Chairperson of the Austria-Hungary Society