After studying mechanical engineering in Berlin, he joined the construction development section of Focke-Wulf in Bremen.
He served as Chief Executive Officer of Germany"s second largest airline Air Berlin until he stepped down in January 2013. Until May 2009 he served as Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bahn AG, Germany"s biggest railway company. From 1966 to 1978, Mehdorn worked for what later became known as the "Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke-Fokker GmbH", his last position being that of production head at the "Nordwerke" of Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm).
Hartmut Mehdorn was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Bahn AG in Berlin from the end of 1999until he offered his resignation to the supervisory board on March 30, 2009.
In September 2011 he took over the position of Chief Executive Officer at Germany"s second largest airline Air Berlin, where he had already been on the Board of non-executive directors for almost two years. Mehdorn is on the board of Stiftung Lesen.
German-Russian Forum. Stiftung Lesen]
From 1979 to 1984, he was a member of the management of Airbus Industrie South America in Toulouse, France, where he was responsible for production, purchasing, and quality assurance. Between 1984 and 1989, Mehdorn was head of the "Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Transportund Verkehrsflugzeuge" group in Hamburg and from 1985 was also a member of the Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm management team in Munich.
From 1989 to 1992, Mehdorn had a joint function as chairman of Deutsche Airbus GmbH in Hamburg and, from 1992 to 1995, he was a member of the board of Deutsche Aerospace AG in Munich where he was responsible for the aviation corporate division.
He was then chairman of the board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG from 1997 to 1999, and, from 1998 to 1999, was also a member of the board of RWE where he was responsible for industrial holdings.
Married; three children.