Constania-Iso AG and Constania-Verpackungen AG

Boy, it sure would simplify things if privately held Constantia-Iso AG and publicly listed Constantia-Verpackungen AG merged but evidently Herbert Turnauer, who founded both companies, likes the way things are. Through his Constantia Industrial Group, Turnauer controls both.

Between the two, revenues in 2001 were 1.4 billion Euros and 9,200 employees. What do the two companies do? The production and processing of wood, fiberboard and chipboards. They also manufacture pharmaceutical packaging systems.

Headquarters, located almost directly across the street from Vienna's opera house, is an old but elegant turn-of-the-century building on the ring road surrounding Vienna's city center. A movie theatre anchors one part of the ground floor (the movie "Spiderman" is playing). The marbled lobby of the six-story building is dark, old and no reception area. The elevator is a real hoot---it's easily from the turn of the last century and features a velvet covered seat to rest your tush on if you can't manage to stand-up.

Brian Framson, an American, whose title on his business card reads "Konxerncontroller" or controller, answers my questions. With only 15 people at headquarters, it's very decentralized here. The company occupies two floors (2nd & 3rd) and there's no cafeteria. Smoking is allowed in designated areas, parking is paid for and the company's Website is in German only.

Can't see CEO Michael Goetz's office because he's in a meeting but I do see the cool boardroom. A crystal chandelier watches over the aluminum laminated boardroom table and an old fireplace adds pizzazz to the wood floored room. From the boardroom one can step out onto a small balcony and have a great view of the tree-lined ring road or Opernring as this section of the road is called. Framson says the company offices used to be the home of a Duke, who liked to stand out on the boardroom balcony and wave to Emperor Franz-Josef as his motorcade passed by. The magnificent Imperial Palace is only a few blocks away.