In search of a job
After the slump due to the crisis, things started to look up again - and the owners of Müller-Guttenbrunn's joint venture partner, where Chris Slijkhuis was employed at the time, prepared for an IPO due to the positive development - which, however, was never to come. A new management was installed, which immediately took short-term steps to be able to present the best possible figures at the planned IPO.
In the process, the company got rid of many of its former pioneers, for whom it no longer saw a need. This also affected Slijkhuis, who at the age of 58 was suddenly faced with the challenge of looking for a new place to work. At first, I thought: "At almost 60, it will be difficult to find a job. You're no longer in demand. But I soon had three offers - the only catch was that they were all abroad. But I wanted to stay in Vienna and not be on the road all the time. Until then, it was unfortunately the case that I was often only at home on weekends," Slijkhuis recalls. Müller-Guttenbrunn recognised the unique opportunity and secured the services of the multilingual manager, who speaks fluent English, Dutch, German and French and also understands a little Portuguese.
A little culture shock
A small culture shock followed. Slijkhuis, who had previously managed four companies and initiated many things at Müller-Guttenbrunn's joint venture partner, now got to know other work processes and perspectives in the family-run company in Amstetten - keyword: thinking across generations. However, the cosmopolitan quickly digested the shock and settled in well in the tranquil Mostviertel. Slijkhuis took care of quality management and the complex matter of notifications required for the transport of material to be recycled. However, he also worked in the areas of public relations and e-waste - which would eventually bring him back to MGG Polymers.
However, someone like Chris Slijkhuis has to break out of the idyllic tranquillity of the Mostviertel from time to time. For example, the now Viennese with a Dutch accent was repeatedly in Brussels on behalf of EERA, the European Association of Electronics Recyclers, or at the corresponding committees of the United Nations. He has also travelled to countries such as Ghana, El Salvador and Kazakhstan on behalf of the UN University to lecture on E-Waste and plastics recycling.
In 2019, however, at the age of 65, it should be over - or at least a little quieter. Slijkhuis gave up agendas and moved to Belgium for a year to do some lobbying on flame retardants and waste shipments. But the quiet in the background was not to last long!