My visit to plastics, paper and machinery maker Lenzing (623
million Euros in revenues and 3,200 employees) definitely makes
an impression on me and it isn't good. Lenzing AG is located
in the town of Lenzing, which lies 25 miles southwest of Salzburg
AND 25 miles due east of Salzburg. How can this be? Well, I found
out the hard way that there're TWO towns in the Salzburg region
with the name Lenzing. As luck would have it I cycle to the wrong
Lenzing first, only to learn from the locals that there's another
Lenzing. Jeez, I'm mad not just because I've now lost a whole
day of traveling but because the dumb map I'm using didn't show
both towns. To make me feel better the locals say this happens
all the time.
It's hot and late in the afternoon when I show up at Lenzing
AG. The company is one of the world's largest manufacturers of
cellulose fibers for textile and non-textile applications. Corporate
offices are inside a big company plant so I check in with the
guard at the gated entry. I get bad news: the annual shareholders
meeting is today AND tomorrow and nobody has time for me. I didn't
know shareholder meetings lasted two days. Real tacky the way
I'm abruptly dismissed.
Though I don't get past the guard gate I do spot a red brick
building inside the premises which most likely houses management.
Looks to have been built in the 1950's or 1960's. What really
intrigues me though is the giant cardboard figure of a sexy-looking
woman wearing a slinky black dress. Click on the photo that accompanies
this story and see for yourself. Why is this giant cardboard
cutout of provocatively looking woman positioned over the entrance
to the headquarters/plant? Is she up there everyday or is it
to greet shareholders coming to the annual meeting?