28/02/05

"An Exemplary Entrepreneur "

Professor Dr. h. c. Reinhold Würth, who also made a name for himself as patron of the arts and cultural sponsor, can look back on a truly extraordinary success story.

Künzelsau. Reinhold Würth will turn 70 on April 20, 2005. The Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Würth Group can look back on a truly extraordinary success story: he developed his father's two-man business into a globally operating trading group with more than 47,000 employees. The entrepreneur from the Hohenlohe region has always remained true to his principles and focused on human relations in everything he has done so far also beyond the borders of his own enterprise.
Development of a Two-Man Business into the Global Market Leader for Fasteners and Assembly Material As a very young man, Reinhold Würth starts his professional career: at the age of 14, he starts an apprenticeship as second employee in his father's screw wholesale business. The serious side of life surfaces all too soon: after his father's death he takes over management of the business at the age of 19. In the following decades he develops the formerly regional business into a globally operating trading group represented in 80 countries of the world. The business is always in the black and reports increasing sales figures all the time; in 2004, sales amounted to 6.2 billion Euro.

The core business of the Würth Group has never really strayed from selling screws as in the beginning, yet it has developed further: the current range comprises more than 100,000 products from the field of fasteners and assembly technology.
The foundations for the future "success story" of Würth having been laid, Reinhold Würth withdraws from operative management in 1994. Since that time he has, in his role as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Würth Group, been actively accompanying the development of the business. Reinhold Würth has always attached particular importance to dealing with and leading staff. "I am convinced that leadership decides about a business' profit and loss to more than 50 %. To us, every single employee counts, we place trust and confidence in every staff member. I am of the opinion that a superior can only ask an employee to do something that he or she is also willing and prepared to do." Reinhold Würth is a living example of this principle today.

Reinhold Würth - Strongly Committed to Society and Culture

Apart from his very busy schedule, Reinhold Würth always finds enough time for social and cultural sponsorship. At a very early point in time he made a name for himself as sponsor of the arts and cultural projects. The passionate collector of works of art from the 20th and 21st century has so far compiled a collection of more than 8,000 exhibits. In 1991, he officially opened the museum of modern art of the 20th and 21st century at corporate headquarters in Künzelsau. The museum displays both parts of his private art collection and three to four changing exhibitions every year. With this museum, Reinhold Würth intends to enrich his staff's working conditions and give his employees the opportunity to encounter art in their daily lives.

In 2001, Reinhold Würth again pointed the way to the region's future: he inaugurated Kunsthalle Würth in Schwäbisch Hall that attracts more than 100,000 visitors every year. The charitable Würth Foundation was established in 1987 by Reinhold and Carmen Würth. The Foundation supports the Würth Group's cultural activities and sponsors projects and initiatives in the field of art and culture, research and science with the Foundation's capital yield. Reinhold Würth is particularly intent on the Foundation's activities being connected with the region. He supports a number of social projects in Künzelsau, among them academic partnerships with the local schools and a hotel in which handicapped and non-handicapped people work together. The global player from Baden-Württemberg is committed to social and cultural projects beyond his home region, too, Reinhold Würth is both partner and member of the board of trustees of the Robert Bosch Foundation.

Honors for a Gentleman with Many Different Areas of Interest

Reinhold Würth's entrepreneurial and social commitment is widely known. Universities, too, are interested in the businessman and his wealth of know-how and experience. From 1999 to 2003, Reinhold Würth chaired the Interdisciplinary Institute for Entrepreneurship at the University of Karlsruhe. He received many awards for his business achievements and social commitment from Baden-Württemberg, the government and social institutions: he is both honorary doctor and honorary senator of the University of Tübingen, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Diesel Medal in gold and the Service Medal of the state of Baden-Württemberg. Reinhold Würth received the Ludwig-Erhard-Medal in April 2004 in recognition of his services to the social market economy.

In May 2004, he was presented the Founder's Prize for his life's work and was also admitted to the Business Hall of Fame, an initiative by both Manager Magazin and the Haus der Geschichte of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn. The reason given by the initiators: Reinhold Würth is an "exemplary entrepreneur".