Annual Board meeting of Vienna Economic Forum on 15. February 2021  

The annual Board meeting of Vienna Economic Forum in 2021 took place on 15. February at the Headquarters of the Österreichische Post in Vienna, hosted by VEF President DI Peter Umundum, Board Member responsible for Parcel & Logistics at the Österreichische Post AG.  

In accordance to the Statute, the VEF President guided through the Agenda, while the Secretary General Ambassador Dr. Elena Kirtcheva reported on the VEF activities in a globally challenging, yet successful year 2020 for Vienna Economic Forum.  

Both the VEF office relocation in March 2020 in the Ambassadors district, in Prinz-Eugen Strasse 58, in the 4th district of Vienna, as well as the Summer Cocktail in a Small Setting organized instead of the 19th Traditional Garden Party with the participation of Ambassadors from the Member countries and VEF Board members, were accentuated. 

The VEF Secretary General particularly emphasized the great online success of the 17th Vienna Economic Forum - Vienna Future Dialoque 2020 that managed to reach over 1200 viewers from 32 countries.  

Deepest gratitude for his and the significant support provided by the Österreichische Post AG was expressed to VEF President DI Peter Umundum.  

The subsequent discussion led to the conclusion that it is now more important than ever to build bridges out of barriers, especially in times of restrictions. In this respect the Board members attached great importance to the advantages of digitalization. Therefore, it is to be expected that Vienna Economic Forum, as THE European Economic Platform based in Vienna, is to once again have a stronger hybrid/online presence in 2021.

The Board unanimously accepted the admission of new VEF members – as Cooperation partners, as Members-Legal entities, Members-Natural persons and Honorary members.

Furthermore, it was accepted that the agreed changes in the Board, the election, deselection and co-opting of Board members, as well as updates in the Patrons and Honour committees be proposed for a decision to the General assembly.

The Annual General Assembly of Vienna Economic Forum will take place on 8. March 2021 at the Headquarters of Novomatic AG, Wiener Straße 158, 2352 Gumpoldskirchen.  

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Strong financial year in a challenging environment for the VEF Cooperation Partner A1 Telekom Austria Group  

Vienna Economic Forum is proud with the result of A1 Telekom Austria Group in the challenging environment of 2020. 

Mag. Thomas Arnoldner, CEO of A1 Telekom Austria Group, and Member of the VEF Board emphasized that:  

"The operational and financial performance of A1 Telekom Austria Group in the financial year 2020 was significantly impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic. The results reflect the resilience of our business model and the positive impact of the measures taken in this challenging environment. 

The Group continued to deliver a strong operational performance for the full year 2020 despite the operating environment. Revenues decreased slightly by 0.3%, while service revenues remained stable despite roaming losses and negative foreign exchange effects. Excluding foreign exchange and one-off effects, total revenues grew by 1.5%. Group EBITDA increased by 1.0%. The net result for 2020 was EUR 388.8 million, above the 2019 result. 

We continue to benefit from our operational strength, efficiency and solid capital structure. We have succeeded in consistently reducing debt in recent years. In Austria alone, we again invested EUR 456.4 million, making us the largest investor in digital infrastructure. The strongly growing demand for high-performance networks requires more investments and continuous expansion. This is only possible with investment-friendly framework conditions. At the same time, these investments would also be a multiplier to grow out of the current crisis, increase innovative strength and secure long-term competitive advantages for Austria in global competition. 

CEE markets showed solid overall operational performance in 2020 due to fixed line growth and strong demand for mobile WiFi routers.  

We wish our VEF founding member A1 Telekom Austria Group further significant successes both in Austria as well as in the VEF Member countries and are looking forward to an excellent collaboration in the many years to come.  



NOVOMATIC Interactive division Greentube acquires esports platform provider HERO

Vienna Economic Forum is pleased to inform about another success of the Cooperation partner Novomatic AG and its subsidiary Greentube.

In a move that will see Greentube enter the esports sphere, the NOVOMATIC Interactive division has acquired esports betting provider and blockchain pioneer HERO.

Austria-based HERO was founded with an aim to disrupt the online betting industry through its blockchain-powered esports platform herosphere.gg, which allows players to create their own contests and compete against each other on the outcome of games.

The platform now has a user base of over 300.000 players. As well as esports, the HEROnetwork is designed to be used for any kind of pooling, betting, fantasy, or poker systems.

The acquisition will see Greentube venture into the esports and blockchain sphere for the first time and will significantly diversify the supplier’s wide product offering.

Michael Bauer, CFO/CGO at Greentube, said: “At Greentube, we aim to hold a leading position when it comes to adopting new trends and technology, and with HERO’s unique products, we have acquired an innovative and exciting business that will see us move into uncharted territory. The esports and blockchain space offers a lot of possibility for the gaming sector and will open up new doors for us as a company. We are excited to explore the possibilities that lie ahead together with HERO.”



Members of the board of Vienna Economic Forum – among the best crisis managers in the service industry  

Vienna Economic Forum (VEF) is proud to be able to congratulate the VEF President DI Peter Umundum,  Member of the Board, responsible for Parcel & Logistics at the Österreichische Post AG, and VEF Board Member, Mag. Thomas Arnoldner, CEO of A1 Telekom Austria Group AG, on their TOP classification in the current “LEADERSNET” ranking of the best crisis managers in Austria in the most challenging year in recent world history. 

By maintaining the quality assurance when shipping around 165 million parcels last year, DI Peter Umundum took the second place in the ranking, while Mag. Thomas Arnoldner took fifth place in the "Service" category.  

At the end of 2020, 23,000 opinion leaders from Austria's business network platform and an eleven-member expert jury ranked the 300 best managers in the time of crisis.  

Vienna Economic Forum is pleased to have some of the TOP managers on board as President and Board Member and wishes them continued success! 

Mr. Peter Umundum

Mr. Arnoldner