Before taking up the position of President of the Salzburg Festival in January 2022, Dr. jur. Kristina Hammer worked as an entrepreneur for more than ten years, owning and running the strategic brand consultancy HammerSolutions in Zurich and serving as an external board member in Switzerland and Germany.
She previously held international operative management positions in Germany, England and Austria for 15 years. As an executive and business coach, Kristina Hammer advised decision-makers on issues including leadership, change management and personal branding, additionally holding guest teaching positions at the St. Gallen University and at the ETH in Zurich.
Kristina Hammer was born in Karlsruhe in Germany and is a citizen of Germany and Switzerland. She studied law at the University of Mainz, obtaining both state degrees. She then earned a doctorate degree “summa cum laude” in European business law at the Vienna University. She completed her education by working for the European Court of Justice and publishing a legal textbook on the free movement of goods in the European Union.
In her early career, Kristina Hammer worked for the Gerngross AG (1996-2000), the largest department store chain in Austria at the time. She was in charge of concept development and later also managing director for “Steffls”, Vienna’s most prestigious department store. From 2000 onward, she spent seven years in England working in a senior position for the Premier Automotive Group (Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Volvo), then from 2006 also worked for the parent company Ford Motor Company Europe, where she was responsible for brand communication and visualization of the premium brands. She headed the global marketing communications team at Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart from 2007 to 2009.
Kristina Hammer is married to an Austrian, Dr. Christoph Hammer, and has two children.