02/10/09

Entrepreneur with farsightedness and visions: Prof. Dr. h. c. mult. Reinhold Würth celebrates his 60th year of service to the Würth company

Künzelsau. Prof. Dr. h. c. mult. Reinhold Würth, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Würth Group’s Family Trusts, celebrated his 60th employment anniversary on 1 October. The 74-year old entrepreneur can look back on an outstanding career: He turned his father’s wholesale screw business with two employees into the Würth Group, today’s world market leader for assembly and fastening material.

The Würth Group’s employees as well as many invited guests honored the entrepreneur with an after-work-party at the corporate seat of Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG in Künzelsau-Gaisbach.

“Reinhold Würth both demands and promotes achievement at the same time,” said Robert Friedmann, Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group. “He is the reliable embodiment of the values which he has instilled in the company.” Thomas Philippiak, President of the Chamber for Industry and Commerce Heilbronn-Franconia, pointed out especially what a force for integration the entrepreneur has been: "You are helping the region to make progress. Your commitment encompasses many areas and respects.” Philippiak honored Reinhold Würth’s work by awarding him with the “Mercury”, the highest honor bestowed by the CIC Heilbronn-Franconia upon individuals who have shown outstanding commitment to the region and its economy. District Administrator Mr. Helmut M. Jahn rewarded “outstanding services for the district of Hohenlohe and its citizens” with the “Grand Golden Medal of Honor of the district of Hohenlohe." It is the highest honor awarded by the district and has hitherto been awarded only once.

Other well-wishers also included Thomas Wagner, chair of Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG’s Council of Confidence, Bettina Würth, Chairwoman of the Würth Group and Reinhold Würth’s daughter, as well as Norbert Heckmann, Chairman of Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG. Bettina Würth thanked her father for his achievements and his untiring commitment to the company. Reinhold Würth echoed her sentiments in his speech, addressing the employees and passing on her words of thanks to them.

Annâweech, a band from Hohenlohe performing in local dialect, ensured top-rate entertainment throughout the event with their witty songs - the lyrics for some had been composed especially for this occasion.

From two-man business to world market leader

The Würth Group’s history is inseparably linked with the entrepreneur Reinhold Würth. Building up a family-owned business with more than 400 companies in 84 countries, approximately 58,000 employees and sales of EUR 8.82 billion in the 2008 fiscal year is an exemplary success story in the international business world: In 1945, the parent company of the Group, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG, was founded in Germany by Adolf Würth. On 1 October 1949, 14-year old Reinhold Würth started training as a businessman at his father’s screw wholesale business. After the early death of his father in 1954 he took over the company at the age of 19.

Reinhold Würth managed the company with farsightedness and showed visionary thinking, which was soon crowned by first success. In 1962, the first foreign subsidiary was set up in the Netherlands, soon followed by company foundations in further countries. In 1987, the Würth Group was already represented on all five continents.

In 1994, Reinhold Würth withdrew from operative business and took the chair of the Advisory Board of the Würth Group. On 1 March 2006, his daughter Bettina Würth became his successor in this position. Reinhold Würth continues being the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Würth Group’s Family Trusts.

Entrepreneur with dynamism and passion

From the first day on, the Würth Group has been a family business in spite of its international character. Reinhold Würth shaped a corporate culture, which is based on fundamental values such as optimism, dynamism, respect for the employees and their achievements, as well as passionate commitment for the customers. Already in the early years he decided not to wait for the customers but to actively approach them. The building up and extension of direct selling laid the foundations for the success of the company. About 29,000 sales reps worldwide visit 300,000 customers each day.

Commitment towards society

During his professional career Prof. Dr. h. c. mult. Reinhold Würth has shown great social and cultural commitment. For many years, the dedicated collector of modern and contemporary art has been supporting projects in the field of arts and culture, science and research as well as training and education. In order to pool these efforts, he and his wife Carmen founded the Charitable Würth Trust in 1987. From 1999 to 2003, he furthermore headed the Interdisciplinary Institute of Entrepreneurship at the University of Karlsruhe.

Reinhold Würth has built up the Würth Collection, which today comprises around 12,000 works of art. These works are exhibited in four museums in Germany as well as ten associated galleries at the headquarters of international companies.

In addition to art, classical music has been among the many interests of Reinhold Würth, father of three adult children. In his free time he likes to go on walks, take hikes or heads out on his bicycle – staying in motion is important for him. In addition, the passionate pilot has a professional pilot's license (ATPL).