Reinhold Würth

Reinhold Würth, who was born in 1935, joined his father’s wholesale screw business in Künzelsau as second employee and first trainee in 1949. In 1952, he successfully completed his traineeship to become a wholesale and retail salesman. At the age of 19, after the early death of his father in 1954, Reinhold Würth took over the company management. In the following decades, he turned the regional business into a world-wide acting trading company.

In 1994, Reinhold Würth withdrew from the operative business and assumed the chair of the Advisory Board of the Würth Group. His entrepreneurial performance as well as his special social and cultural commitment have generally been recognized by numerous honors and memberships. Until the end of the summer semester of 2003, Prof. Dr. h. c. mult. Reinhold Würth was the director of the Inter-faculty Institute for Entrepreneurship at the University of Karlsruhe. He is a doctor and senator honoris causa of the University of Tübingen, a bearer of the Great Distinguished Service Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and and of the Medal of the Economy and the Service Medal of the Land of Baden-Württemberg. In 1997, he was furthermore given the freedom of the town of Erstein (France). In April 2003, the freedom of the town of Künzelsau was bestowed on Reinhold Würth and his wife Carmen for theirtsocial and cultural commitment.

As an honor for his special merits and his extraordinary commitment to the spreading and conveying French art Reinhold Würth was made Knight of the Legion of Honor in March 2004. In April 2004, the Ludwig Erhard Foundation in Bonn presented the Ludwig Erhard Medal to Reinhold Würth for the special service he had rendered to the social market economy. In May 2004, he joined the Business Hall of Fame (on the initiative of the manager magazine and the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn). In June 2004, Reinhold Würth was awarded the German Founder’s Prize for his life’s work. The German Founder’s Prize is awarded once a year by StartUp and its partners stern, Sparkassen (German savings bank), McKinsey & Company and the TV-channel ZDF honoring enterprises in different stages of their successful existence – from concepts up to lifeworks. For his manifold cultural activities in Palermo the entrepreneur was awarded an honorary doctorate in art history and museography by the University of Palermo in May 2007.

In his professional career, Reinhold Würth has intensively dealt with psychological subjects such as the motivation of employees, management culture and questions of professional ethics. He also spent a lot of time on cultural questions. The purchase of a watercolour painting by Emil Nolde in the 1960s, marked the beginning of his passion for collecting works of art. He has meanwhile built up an important collection of over 15,000 works of art, which are accessible to the employees of his company and the public at the museums initiated by him (Museum Würth, Kunsthalle Würth, Johanniterhalle, Hirschwirtscheuer).