After almost 25 years as the Doppelmayr Group’s top management team, Hanno Ulmer and Michael Doppelmayr are moving to the supervisory board of Doppelmayr Holding SE. In fall 2019, they will be handing over the reins as executive directors of Doppelmayr Holding SE to Thomas Pichler and István Szalai, two long-standing management figures in the Group.


The process of stepping down from operational management of the ropeway business is something that Michael Doppelmayr and Hanno Ulmer have been preparing for a long time. “One of our key concerns was to entrust management of the Group to someone who knows and will continue to uphold the values we have established. In Thomas Pichler and István Szalai we have found worthy successors as executive directors of Doppelmayr Holding SE,” says Hanno Ulmer, commenting on the decision. Both men have been with the Group for over 30 years and have already held various senior positions. “It made sense to fill the roles with people from our own ranks. Thomas Pichler and István Szalai possess the necessary experience, are very well connected within the Group, know our people and therefore represent the continuity that we consider to be so important,” adds Michael Doppelmayr. The handover is planned for fall 2019.


Thomas Pichler began his career in 1988 as electronics engineer at what was then Agamatic GmbH (now Doppelmayr Italia GmbH). In the years that followed, he worked primarily as project manager before transferring to sales in 1994, where he was to take over as head of department just three years later. During the period 2001/2002, he played an active role in shaping the merger between Agamatic GmbH and Hölzl Seilbahnbau GmbH, and went on to become sales director and deputy managing director of Doppelmayr Italia GmbH in 2002. With effect from September 1, 2015, Thomas Pichler was appointed as managing director of Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH at the Group’s headquarter in Wolfurt. Thomas Pichler is marked out by his ropeway expertise, his experience with customers and his knowledge of international markets. Looking to the future, Thomas Pichler had this to say: “Today, we are already seeing ropeways gaining popularity worldwide as an efficient and attractive mobility solution. I am pleased to be taking on the mission of actively helping to shape new developments throughout the Group.”


István Szalai started out on his ropeway career as project manager for ropeways at Garaventa AG in 1987. Over the years, he worked his way up to various management posts. In 1990, he took over as head of engineering and was appointed to the management board. From 1995 to 2008 he was director of engineering & IT, before becoming CEO of Garaventa AG. Swiss-born István Szalai has already exercised key Group-wide roles in various management positions since 2016. He brings in-depth knowledge of the industry, management experience and a good instinct for technical developments to the post of executive director of Doppelmayr Holding SE. István Szalai is looking forward to his new role: “The future holds a lot of exciting topics for our Group. Tackling these together with our employees and the companies belonging to Doppelmayr Holding SE will be a fantastic challenge.”


Michael Doppelmayr and Hanno Ulmer will continue to retain close ties with the Group as members of the supervisory board of Doppelmayr Holding SE.




Thomas Pichler
Born: April 6, 1969
Nationality: Italian


Professional career:
Since 2017 Executive board member of Ropetrans AG
Since 2015 CEO, Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH
2002–2015 Sales director and deputy managing director, Doppelmayr Italia GmbH
1997–2002 Head of sales, Agamatic GmbH
1994–1997 Sales, Agamatic GmbH
1988–1994 Start-up engineer and project manager, Agamatic GmbH


István Szalai
Born: August 13, 1959
Nationality: Swiss


Professional career:
Since 2018 Chairman of the board of Garaventa AG
Since 2017 Executive board member of Ropetrans AG
Since 2016 Member of the management board of Ropetrans AG
2008–2018 CEO, Garaventa AG
1995–2008 Director of engineering & IT, Garaventa AG
1990–1995 Head of engineering, member of the management board, Garaventa AG
1987–1990 Project manager for ropeways, design and engineering, Garaventa AG


Doppelmayr Holding SE
Doppelmayr Holding SE is the corporate level that unites all companies belonging to the Doppelmayr Group. In particular, it represents quality, technology and market leadership in ropeway construction for passenger and material transport based on rope-propelled mobility solutions as well as for high-technology intralogistics solutions.


Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH
Mag. Julia Schwärzler
Marketing and Public Relations Konrad-Doppelmayr-Straße 1, Postfach 20 6922 Wolfurt / Austria +43 5574 604 227