15/07/08

Würth man with a passion: Rolf Bauer, Deputy Chairman of the Würth Group, celebrates his 45th company anniversary

Rolf Bauer (64), Deputy Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group, is celebrating his 45th anniversary at Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG on 15 July 2008. Thanks to his exemplary commitment, he has had a decisive impact on the rapid growth and the development of the Group in the last decades. He has made a major contribution to the development of the family business into a worldwide operating group of companies.

The stations of a “mover and shaker”

Pursuant to the motto “Würth people with a passion” Rolf Bauer stands for a typical Würth career. After an apprenticeship as an electrician at Ziehl-Abegg, a Künzelsau-based manufacturer of fans, he changed to Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG on 15 July 1963 to start a business apprenticeship.

Self-initiative and responsibility, strategic farsightedness, entrepreneurial calculation and the qualities of a mover and shaker have marked his career. From 1966 till 1970, Rolf Bauer was in charge of the purchase department and from 1970 till 1980 of in-house sales. Later he went on to manage the marketing department. Already at the age of 24, Rolf Bauer received authority to act as an authorized signatory. In 1980, he was appointed managing director by Reinhold Würth. Since its foundation in 1980 until the year 2001, he was a member of the Executive Board of the Würth Group, which is the operative management body of the Group. In 2001, the Central Managing Board was established as an additional management committee and Rolf Bauer was appointed Deputy Chairman. The most important tasks of the Central Managing Board include strategic corporate planning, selecting management staff and managing strategic business units.

Rolf Bauer initiated innumerable projects and pursued them with great persistence. On many occasions, his decisive input helped to ensure that the Group’s development continued in the right direction. His main responsibility today includes the Würth companies in the field of electrical wholesale, the companies of the Würth Elektronik Group and the Würth Group’s manufacturing companies.

Leading the way with farsightedness

One recent example of his contribution has been the Würth subsidiary Würth Solar, the build-up of which he has been supporting from the outset. As an innovation leader in CIS technology, the photovoltaic generation of energy, this company symbolizes the Würth Group’s dynamic advancement. Würth Solar was founded by Reinhold Würth in 1999 with the objective of making a young, highly promising solar technology ready for serial production. As early as 2007, Würth Solar generated sales of EUR 63 million, managing to double its manufacturing capacity through the increase of the production output to 30 megawatts in 2008.

Thanks to his experience and farsightedness, Rolf Bauer has succeeded in promoting this company’s progress with the same commitment that he had already shown in guiding traditional screw manufacturers like SWG Schraubenwerk Gaisbach GmbH, Arnold Umformtechnik GmbH & Co. KG and Reisser Schraubentechnik GmbH onto the path of success within the Würth Group.

Man of success with both feet firmly on the ground

Rolf Bauer, father of two grown daughters, who as a man from Hohenlohe lives in Waldenburg and is known as a gourmet and wine connoisseur, is highly appreciated and respected by his colleagues. As a manager and last, but not least, as a human being, he fully embodies the values of Würth’s corporate culture such as modesty and predictability. Reinhold Würth: “Rolf Bauer is my closest companion in the Würth Group and a good friend. He is a man of success who has both feet firmly on the ground. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for all he has done with great commitment and passion in the past 45 years."

As of 31 December 2008, Rolf Bauer is going to withdraw from operative business and cede the tasks he has as a member of the supreme operative decision-making committee of the Würth Group.

A quotation from Reinhold Würth’s book “Nach oben geschraubt. Reinhold Würth: Die Karriere eines Unternehmers.” is characteristic for Rolf Bauer’s career (published in 1991):

>>In September 1967, the Würth company presented itself for the first time at a trade fair. At the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt it can win many new customers. Rolf Bauer, today Member of the Executive Board responsible for marketing, purchasing and distribution, assumed responsibility for the installation of the fair stand. Reinhold Würth himself joined in the installation works till late in the night. At IAA the first Würth catalog is distributed which Rolf Bauer made in many extra evening hours. Rolf Bauer, who had passed his business education at Würth from 1963 on and started work in the bookkeeping and order processing department, was appointed purchasing manager as early as 1967 at the age of 26. Until that moment, the company did not have a special purchasing department. Bauer recognized the chance to assume responsibility for this field of business and Reinhold Würth agreed to this idea. Active and versatile Rolf Bauer, who assumed responsibility on his own initiative already as a young man, becomes a “co-maker and shaker” for Reinhold Würth whom he can rely on. He gains extraordinary merit in contributing to the development of the Würth Group due to his strategic farsightedness.