In January 2022, Kristina Hammer assumed the position of President of the Salzburg Festival after being unanimously selected by the board in November 2021. Her extensive expertise, including her role on the board of the Friends of the Zurich Opera House, her international network, and her longstanding connection to Salzburg were decisive factors in her appointment.
Born in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1968, Kristina Hammer completed her law studies with both state exams in Mainz and obtained a doctorate in European Economic Law (summa cum laude) in Vienna. In her early career, she worked for Gerngross, the largest department store chain in Austria during the 1990s. She was initially responsible for the new concept and later became the director of Vienna’s luxury department store, Kaufhaus Steffl. From 2000 to 2006, Kristina Hammer spent seven years in the United Kingdom working for the premium brands Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Land Rover, which were part of the Ford Motor Company. From 2007 to 2009, she led the global marketing communications team of Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars at the headquarters in Stuttgart.
At the end of the same year, she founded her own consulting firm, „HammerSolutions,“ an internationally operating brand consultancy based in Zurich. Hammer served on several boards and advisory committees. As an executive coach Kristina Hammer provided guidance on leadership and change management and served as a guest lecturer at the University of St. Gallen and ETH Zurich.