Waiblingen, 4/12/2017 | Company press release
Hans Peter Stihl celebrates his 85th birthday on April 18, 2017. He is a personally liable shareholder of STIHL Holding AG & Co. KG as well as Honorary Chairman of the STIHL Advisory Board and Supervisory Board. Under his stewardship STIHL grew into a successful international corporate group.
Hans Peter Stihl was born in Stuttgart in 1932. His father, Andreas Stihl, founded an engineering office in 1926 and developed chainsaws that would soon revolutionize forestry work. The demand for the saws increased and the office grew into an impressive machine factory. Before joining his father’s company in 1960, Hans Peter Stihl studied mechanical engineering at Stuttgart Technical University. He graduated as an engineer and was quickly given responsibility in the company: After joining the company, Stihl took over as head of the “Manufacturing and Design” department. In 1966, he became a member of the Management Board and was responsible for the areas of development, materials management, production and organization. In 1971, he became a personally liable shareholder alongside his father.
In the 1970s, Stihl and his sister Eva laid the foundation stone for the international manufacturing network and the worldwide sales organization, which are still the hallmarks of the STIHL Group to this day. Stihl was also the driving force behind the continual expansion of the STIHL product portfolio. Under his leadership, the company grew into a global player. STIHL has been the world’s top-selling chainsaw brand since 1971. Stihl also gave employees the opportunity to share in the company’s success – which is still happening today. Staff can subscribe to shares in the company’s capital in the form of participating rights. In addition, the company’s voluntary fringe benefits include an annual incentive payment, employee capital participation, and a company pension scheme.
On July 1, 2002, Stihl – together with his siblings – withdrew from the operational side of the business after 36 years, and transferred management of the company to a non-family executive board. The Stihl family moved onto the Advisory and Supervisory Boards chaired by Hans Peter Stihl, which handled important strategic decisions from then on. On June 30, 2012, he resigned as Chairman of both boards. He was succeeded by his son Dr. Nikolas Stihl. His sister, Eva Mayr-Stihl, continued as Deputy Chairwoman.
In addition to his business activities, Stihl also occupied many voluntary positions. For example, he was President of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHT) from 1988 to 2001. In this position he advocated for strong self-management of the economy and was responsible for a substantial enlargement of the worldwide network of Chambers of Commerce abroad. Since 2002 he has represented the Republic of Singapore as Honorary Consul and since 2004 as Honorary Consul-General in the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Rhineland Palatinate and Saarland. He has also been a member of the Supervisory and Advisory Boards of numerous companies, including IBM Deutschland, Bosch and Südwestbank.
Stihl has received numerous awards for his entrepreneurial and volunteer services, such as the Grand Order of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany (2002), the Staufer Medal in Gold of Baden-Württemberg (2007), the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s “Social Market Economy” prize (2009), which he received jointly with his sister Eva-Mayr-Stihl, and the Diesel Medal in the “Best Innovative Accomplishment” category (2012).
Even today, at 85 years old, Stihl is very present in the company. Every day he comes to the office that he still shares with his sister Eva Mayr-Stihl, and at lunchtime goes to the STIHL works canteen. Hans Peter Stihl remains firmly committed to the company his father founded more than 90 years ago.