Credit: Author= Jeollo von CC BY 3.0 DEED

Alexander Wehrle

Chairman of the Executive Board of VfB Stuttgart, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DFB GmbH

"We all only have one life. Accordingly, we should enjoy it and meet each other."

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Alexander Wehrle, born on February 11, 1975 in Bietigheim-Bissingen. Originally, I dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, economist or political scientist. After my studies and an internship, I ended up as a board officer at VfB Stuttgart. In ten years, I got to know the highs and lows and all areas of a professional club, including the German championship and the stadium renovation.

In 2013, I became managing director of 1. FC Köln, where I led the club from the Bundesliga 2 to the European Cup twice in nine years. In Cologne, in addition to the Swabian mentality, I was “baptized” once again with Kölsch, which manifests itself in a passion for carnival, among other things.

Since 2022, I have been back at “my” VfB as Chairman of the Executive Board and also as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DFB GmbH.

What is your personal experience of a life crisis and how did you overcome it?

I am very lucky not to have been in a serious crisis myself. But during my civilian service as a paramedic and during my studies as an employee in a funeral home, I got to know and accompany many people in deep, existential crises. This has shaped me and continues to influence my view of my work in football to this day.

Despite all the ambition and pressure to perform, it is important to me to never forget that we are all human beings with worries and crises – and that we should always value and enjoy the one life we have. For me, this is also the basis for tolerant, fair coexistence.

It should never matter where you come from, what you have or who you love. The only thing that counts is who and how you are – for yourself and for others.

What is your inspiration?

I am inspired by people who are courageous. Courageous enough to live their convictions and not bend. But also courageous in the sense that they are prepared to question themselves again and again and – inspired by the Bible – not to see the mote in the other person’s eye while overlooking the beam in their own eye.

Where is your favorite place in the world and why - what or who do you believe in?

I don’t have a fixed favorite place, I enjoy many places if the right people accompany me. I am not devout, but I am a devout Protestant who was allowed to do active youth work in a Catholic parish – this form of tolerance and acceptance that our priest showed me has shaped me.

What was a special moment in your life and what did you experience with your partner?

Fortunately, I experience something new every day in my highly emotional job and I get to meet so many exciting people that I find it difficult to name a single moment. You don’t have to share everything publicly. But of course it was a milestone to come out to my family as a teenager and of course getting engaged to my long-term partner was a special moment.