Professor Berthold Leibinger, former CEO and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TRUMPF, has passed away following a long illness, on October 16 2018. He would have been 88 in November this year.
After studying engineering in Stuttgart and spending two years in the US, Berthold Leibinger joined TRUMPF in 1961 when the company was still a fledgling machine maker. In return for his numerous inventions, which he made in the interests of the company, he received company shares and in 1966 became a partner and MD.
Under his stewardship, TRUMPF evolved into one of the world’s leading machine manufacturers. Leibinger understood the potential of light as a tool more than any of his peers, and he is now regarded as one of the pioneers in the industrial application of lasers.
In 2005, he handed over the reins of the company to his eldest daughter, Dr. Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller. His son, Dr. Peter Leibinger, is Vice Chairman of the Managing Board. His daughter, Professor Regine Leibinger, works as an architect in Berlin.
In addition to his work at TRUMPF, Berthold Leibinger held numerous other official positions in the German business community. These included his membership of the supervisory boards of Deutsche Bank AG and BMW AG as well as his appointment as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of BASF SE. He was President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Stuttgart Region and, from 1990 to 1992, President of the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA). Leibinger was actively involved in supporting cultural and social initiatives, for instance in his roles as Chairman of the Friends of the German Literature Archive Marbach and Chairman of the International Bach Academy. He was a member of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU).
In 1992, Leibinger established the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung, a not-for-profit foundation that dedicates its proceeds to cultural, scientific, religious and charitable purposes. In 2000, the foundation established the internationally renowned Berthold Leibinger Innovation Prize, which is awarded once every two years. It also presents its Comic Book Award on an annual basis.
Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the TRUMPF Group, said: “Berthold Leibinger was a visionary engineer and entrepreneur. Everything he did was ultimately directed toward people’s welfare and the common good. He was an outstanding example to us all.”