Status: 29.11.2023, 15:43 PM
The then Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Bahn AG, Heinz Dürr, in Munich. © Frank Leonhardt/dpa/Archivbild
Heinz Dürr has turned his parents' company into a global corporation. The entrepreneur and top manager became known nationwide as the head of Deutsche Bahn. Now he has died at the age of 90.
Bietigheim-Bissingen - The entrepreneur and former head of Deutsche Bahn Heinz Dürr has died. He died on Monday evening at the age of 90 in Berlin, as the machine and plant manufacturer Dürr AG announced on Wednesday in Bietigheim-Bissingen near Stuttgart.
In 1991, Dürr became head of the German Federal Railways. He had taken over the post at the request of the then Chancellor Helmut Kohl (CDU). With the railway reform, he pushed ahead with the merger of the Bundesbahn and the Reichsbahn as well as the conversion of the official railway into a private-sector company. In 1997, the then 64-year-old moved to the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bahn, which he headed until 1999.
The acting head of Deutsche Bahn, Richard Lutz, paid tribute to the Swabian's achievements. As chairman of the board, he had brought together the railways from East and West in reunified Germany. "Like no other, he stands for the dawn of the railways in Germany into a new era," said Lutz.
Baden-Württemberg's Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) said that Dürr had embodied the Swabian entrepreneurial spirit par excellence - down-to-earth, ambitious, resourceful, meticulous, a tireless creator. "For me, however, he always stood out for his courage to look ahead and his entrepreneurial foresight, because he advocated energy efficiency and more orientation towards the common good in the economy at an early stage and away from any zeitgeist fashions."
Born in 1933, Dürr first completed an apprenticeship as a locksmith and then studied mechanical engineering in Stuttgart. He joined the family business in 1957 and drove forward internationalization.
In 1980, he gave up his position as head of the family-owned company Dürr and moved to the top of the electrical company AEG, which was in financial difficulties. It then found a new home under the umbrella of the former Daimler-Benz AG.
Baden-Württemberg's Minister of Economic Affairs, Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut (CDU), said that with the death of Dürr, the state had lost one of the most influential corporate personalities of recent decades. According to the company, the 29.7 percent shareholding in Dürr AG will remain in the hands of the Dürr family. The company has more than 20,000 employees. It went public in 1990.
Dürr was also active in collective bargaining policy. In 1975 he succeeded Hanns Martin Schleyer as chairman of the metal employers in North Württemberg - as a counterpart to the later IG Metall boss Franz Steinkühler. For many years, Dürr has played a key role in shaping industry as well as collective bargaining policy and social partnership, said Südwestmetall CEO Joachim Schulz. Dpa