About FocusFirst

We combine former top executives and an award-winning method to accelerate transformations.  This unique “double helix” of capabilities allows us to help our customers deliver results faster against demanding business goals.

About FocusFirst

We combine former top executives and an award-winning method to accelerate transformations.  This unique “double helix” of capabilities allows us to help our customers deliver results faster against demanding business goals.

This is us.

  • Our senior advisors & experts are located in 15 cities within 7 countries, spanning 4 continents. The team has planned, led, and supported international projects in over 30 countries.
  • We have won 5 awards for our innovation & excellence.
  • We are a family-owned business. Our freedom and objectivity are not restricted by anyone. We work with those who share our belief that leadership is the ultimate lever for positive change and value creation.

We are on a mission.

When René Esteban founded FocusFirst, he found that too many transformation projects take too long, waste money, and annoy stakeholders – and that there must be a way to accelerate business transformations, sustainably. This belief unites an international FocusFirst team consisting of former top executives and subject matter experts. Today, we are honoured to serve senior leaders across many of their most critical leadership challenges.

All Senior Advisors were former executives and were responsible for international organisations.

Rene Esteban
CEO, Founder, Senior Advisor

Entrepreneur, Father, Frank Sinatra Singer.
Over 20 years of experience in the global corporate environment, including several senior leadership positions. International keynote speaker, author and senior advisor for achieving goals and accelerating complex transformations.

Contact René Esteban directly.

Melanie Esteban
Art Director

Sense Activator, Flamenco Dancer, Storyteller.
Over 16 years experience in corporate design, such as Merck, E.ON, BASF, Novartis, Lanxess, etc. Run a design agency. Master in Communication Design.

Contact Melanie Esteban directly

David Braga

Strategist, Dot-Connector, Traveller. Over seven years in management consulting in various functions, industries and projects. Holds an MSc in Management from Católica Lisbon and an MSc in Psychology from the University of St. Andrews. Rich intercultural experience and a passion for strategic change, communications, and organisational development.

Contact David Braga directly.

David Jeans
Senior Advisor

Twenty-six years with Merck, SVP, global and regional roles, responsible for driving business transformation. Expert in Leadership, Communication and Stakeholder Engagement. Besides his Senior Advisor role at FocusFirst, David is Owner of Beganya Business Services Ltd.

Contact David Jeans directly.

Senior Advisor & Coach

Senior Leader and Coach with 30+ years of experience in Financial Services. Expert in sales, business growth and employee development and engagement. Highly skilled in building high-performing teams. Former CEO and Branch Manager Bank of New York Mellon, Frankfurt SA/NV. Besides her Senior Advisor role at FocusFirst, Kathie is Executive Coach for Teams and Leaders.

Contact Katherine Starks directly.

Senior Advisor & Coach

Executive Coach and Partner for Business Transformations, over 20 years of professional experience in the automotive and machine vision industry, including more than a decade in senior leadership roles like Head of Digital Marketing at Opel, and CMO at the SDAX company ISRA Vision. Besides her Senior Advisor role at FocusFirst, Sandra is Owner of Cameron Coaching & Consulting.

Contact Sandra Cameron directly.


Over 25 years in management consulting and training in various industries and countries. Strategy Consultant, trainer, and coach for project and transformation management. Besides her Senior Advisor role at FocusFirst, Petra is Managing Partner at DKC GmbH.

Contact Dr. Petra Kring-Kardoš directly.

Torsten Kreiling Senior Advisor FocusFirst
Senior Advisor

As a former executive in automotive with over 30 years of experience, Torsten excels in strategy, organizational change, and international business. He spent 12 years working in China, India, and Mexico, and is also a trained coach and mediator, making him a versatile sparring partner for business success at home and abroad. Besides his Senior Advisor role at FocusFirst, Torsten is founder and owner of tkreiling-consulting.
Contact Torsten Kreiling directly.

Sarah Kidane Expert FocusFirst

As a Global Communication Lead, Sarah has supported complex SAP transformation projects across Europe and the Middle East. Specializing in Change and Communication, her expertise ensures well-aligned change management and engaging communication, making her a key asset for any high-stakes project. Besides her Expert role at FocusFirst, Sarah is a freelancing business consultant.

Contact Sarah Kidane directly.


Expert, Senior Strategic Program Manager

Program ownership and delivery of transformational & strategic change founded in lean six sigma principles. Expert in delivering accelerated change in a range of environments & across disciplines. Sectors covered: Banking, Chemicals, Healthcare, Financial Services, Energy, Technology, Medical, Automotive, Commercial and Professional Services. Besides his Expert role at FocusFirst, Tim works as a Programme Management Consultant at BJSS.

Contact Tim Shaw directly.


Entrepreneur, Effective Altruist, Optimist by choice. Over 14 years of experience in the global corporate environment, holding leadership positions. Executive coach, mentor, and expert in brand strategy, product marketing, business development, global key account management and agile transformation. Besides her Coach role at FocusFirst, Susann is Owner of LeadAtLife.

Contact Susann Kunz directly.

Ali Boujataoui
Senior Advisor & Coach

Ali is passionate about growth, change and people. In his 15 years of leadership experience, he had executive roles in large companies (e.g. Robert Bosch) and midsize hidden champions. He is driven by a result-oriented and transformational mindset and is a big fan of emerging markets. Ali is also an executive and leadership coach (ICF) and loves to spend time with his wife and his three kids, as well as go surfing and hiking. Besides his Senior Advisor & Coach role at FocusFirst, Ali works as an independent business consultant and coach supporting leaders in change topics.

Contact Ali Boujataoui directly.

Senior Consultant

Certified Change Manager. Organisational Psychologist and Coach with a passion for understanding systems and motivating people.

Contact Anthea Heitkamp directly.

Senior Advisor

Lawyer by profession. +35 years of experience in communications management, primarily in the tech industry. Former Director of Communications, Member of the Management Board, Microsoft Germany. Besides his Senior Advisor role at FocusFirst, Thomas is Founder of KommunikationNeuDenken!

Contact Thomas Mickeleit directly.

Senior Advisor

Digital intrapreneur, change agent, storytelling coach.

Over 30 years of digital transformation leadership roles in global companies. Has worked across and with a wide range of corporate roles and executives in various industries. Expert coach specializing in helping executives improve their data storytelling, communications, and application of OKRs. Besides her Senior Advisor role at FocusFirst, Cinny works as an independent consultant.

Contact Cinny Little directly.


Elisabeth merges a 14-year leadership background in technology, startups, and corporations with a deep understanding of organisational behaviour and psychology. A versatile consultant and executive coach, she specialises in supporting transformative movements in organisations. Her expertise includes being an adept OKR Coach and a certified Scaled Agile Consultant (SAFe 6.0). Besides being an Expert at FocusFirst, Elisabeth is the founder and owner of Tafelmeyer Change Consulting.

Contact Elisabeth Tafelmeyer directly.

Sarah Knapp FocusFirst

Senior Change Consultant and business professional with 20 years of experience in leading people and growing business within the service, media and marketing industry. Strong focus on team and culture development and passion for multinational teams as well as the concept of Human Design. Besides her role as an Expert at FocusFirst, Sarah is working as an independent consultant for change and cultural transformations.

Contact Sarah Knapp directly.


Strategist, storyteller, and triathlete.

More than ten years of experience in advising on and leading in internal communications and employee engagement. Passionately dislikes l’art pour l’art, but loves listening to challenges of decision makers, developing communications strategies and delivering emotionally appealing formats. Besides his Expert role at FocusFirst, Tobias is founder and owner at Purple Storytellers.

Contact Tobias Heeger directly.


An agile, curious, creative and empathetic leader and coach. Over 30 years of experience in the global corporate world, holding several positions, including eight years of leading a multinational learning and development team. Always striving to stretch her comfort zone through lifelong learning. Besides her Expert role at FocusFirst, Gerlinde works as an independent senior consultant with a focus on the pharmaceutical sector.

Contact Gerlinde Jayme directly.

Senior Advisor & Coach

Systemic Executive Coach and Master in Organizational & Clinical Psychology
Former Global HR Manager Leadership Development at a Fortune 500 company, COO Bellenet.net. Besides his Senior Advisor & Coach role at FocusFirst, Darius is Owner of Commitis.

Contact Darius M. Ghiai directly.

Susanne Ringen

Systems Thinker, outdoor enthusiast, passionate surfer. Over 20 years of experience in digital environments, including project management, HR and senior leadership roles. Agile leadership coach and expert in mindful transformation and organizational design. Mindfulness and resilience trainer, New Work enthusiast, and podcast host. Besides her Expert role at FocusFirst, Susanne is Founder of ICH & WIR.

Contact Susanne Ringen directly.

Susanne Ringen

Twenty-five years of successful IT project management worldwide, from the telecom industry to the automotive industry. Passionate in the field of digital communication and web-based information technologies. Besides his Expert role at FocusFirst, Matthias is founder and owner of Finke Consulting.

Contact Dr. Matthias Finke directly.

Senior Advisor & Coach

Executive Coach, Change & Transformation Consultant and Communication Expert with over 20 years of experience in multinational companies in the sectors Chemicals, Energy, Industry, Software & Digitalisation. Former Head of Change & Transformation at Körber AG, and Head of Corporate Communications at tesa. Besides her Senior Advisor role at FocusFirst, Carolin is Founder of Carolin Adler Coaching. Change. Communications.

Contact Carolin Adler directly.

… and many more Senior Advisors & Experts.

We would be honoured to help.

FocusFirst® GmbH


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Transformation success by design... not by chance.