Farewell to a great entrepreneurial personality: From simple beginnings as a contract manufacturer, Werner Thieme formed an internationally successful company. Today the THIEME GmbH & Co. KG is the technology leader in its two business areas.
Sad beginning of the year at THIEME GmbH & Co. KG: The company founder and long-time managing partner Werner Thieme died on January 10th at the age of 91. The company he founded in 1960 is today an international leader in the areas of printing machine construction and plastics technology.
Born on March 2, 1928 in Teningen near Freiburg, Werner Thieme began his entrepreneurial career during the time of the German economic miracle. After completing various apprenticeships - machine fitter, technical draftsman and wholesale merchant - he first became a co-founder of Emmendingen-based mechanical engineering in 1957 and then, in 1960, went into business for himself alone with THIEME Maschinenfabrik GbR. At that time, he produced a wide variety of machine parts on a contract basis, always adapting flexibly to the needs of the market. Five years later a second company foundation followed, the Kunststoffe Werner Thieme OHG.
From 1976, Werner Thieme shifted to the construction of screen printing machines and thus fulfilled his dream of his own product. Since 1993, the machine and plastics factory have been under one roof, the THIEME GmbH & Co. KG, which has successfully established itself in the respective markets with its two business divisions Printing Systems and Polyurethane. Werner Thieme has always remained loyal to the founding location of Teningen: At the headquarters in the Teningen industrial parks of Rohrlache and Breitigen and in the foreign subsidiaries combined, the company today employs around 350 employees and generates a consolidated total turnover of 55 million Euros.
Successful generation change
Werner Thieme retired from active management some time ago and left the sceptre to his son Frank Thieme, who has been the main shareholder and sole owner of THIEME GmbH & Co. KG since 2004. As one knows from an entrepreneur of the "old school", Werner Thieme always took an active part in the development of the company and stood by his son with his wealth of experience in an advisory capacity.
Werner Thieme was also involved in many other areas beyond his company: He held various positions at the regional trade association of industrial companies in Baden e. V. (wvib), among other things as an advisor, board member and from 1996 to 2002 as president (later honorary president). In addition, he was a member of the Supervisory Board of Volksbank Emmendingen, the Industrial Committee of the Southern Upper Rhine Chamber of Commerce and the Freiburg University Advisory Board. In his honorary activities, he was primarily concerned with the promotion and strengthening of small and medium-sized companies in order to be able to survive in a globalised economy. Numerous honours, from the Gold Medal of Merit of his home town of Teningen to the Staufer Medal of the State of Baden-Württemberg and the Federal Cross of Merit with Ribbon, have been awarded in recognition of Werner Thieme's many and varied achievements, and Werner Thieme will be remembered with honour not only in his home region.
Werner Thieme leaves his wife Hannelore and his two sons Klaus and Frank. Until the end, he had a great interest in the company and visited both company locations at regular intervals, even with physical limitations. His death came as a surprise despite his advanced age. The funeral took place with great public sympathy on 18 January in his home town of Teningen.