Wienerberger Baustoffindustrie AG

Going five miles south of Vienna's city center will bring you Austria's tallest buildings, the new 35-story Vienna Twin Towers. I'm visiting two companies in this glass tower complex, Wienerberger Baustoffindustrie and RHI. Opened in 2001, who built these tall edifices? Let me give you a hint. The address here is Wienerbergstrasse 11, Wienerberg City, Vienna.

Wienerberger Baustoffindustrie, with 2001 revenues of 1.5 billion Euros and 11,300 employees, can lay claim to being the world's largest producer of bricks. The company is also a big player in the clay and plastic pipe industry. How did this and the surrounding area that includes a large park and golf course get the name Wienerberg City? Wienerberger, whose roots go back 180 years, formerly operated a brick making plant on this large tract of land.

Visitors check in at the reception area on the 35th floor and the floor to ceiling windows wow guests with the resulting views. It's a fun visit thanks to my host, the gracious Gerlinde Klampferer, Assistant to CEO Wolfgang Reithofer.

The company occupies two floors in each of the towers with a sky walkway connecting the two. About 100 employees work here. There's no company cafeteria but the enclosed shopping mall on the first two floors of the complex give employees plenty of options. Smoking isn't allowed, there's plenty of parking in the underground parking structure, it's five minutes to nearest freeway and it's a 20-minute drive to Vienna Airport.

CEO Reithofer occupies a corner office on the 32nd floor with a great view toward Vienna's city center. He has a desktop computer and I note several family pictures. Hmm, thought maybe he'd have a fake brick fireplace or even a brick paperweight. The boardroom is barren of anything on the walls and the table seats 14.