What began in 1974 when he joined Rittal’s management team has become something extraordinary: In five decades, Professor Friedhelm Loh has turned his company into an innovative leader and successful global player, although always guided by strong moral values, an enthusiasm for customers and a passion for the people of the region. With his companions and many employees at his side, he has shaped the medium-sized company like no other. At a special ceremony, he was honoured by the management of Rittal and the Friedhelm Loh Group and by long-standing supporters.
– The festive setting was a celebratory surprise for the man whose life’s work was highlighted on the day by close companions and by Rittal and Friedhelm Loh Group managers. As well as Friedhelm Loh’s wife Debora, his brother Joachim was also present; as a companion from the very early years of the Loh entrepreneurial family. He reported on the concept of the volume-produced enclosure that started it all, on the early growth of the company, as well as on the untimely death of his father Rudolf in 1971, which led to an unexpected generational change.
The latter marked the beginning of Friedhelm Loh’s gradual entry into the family business. He finally joined Rittal’s management team in 1974. Joachim Loh paid great tribute to his brother for having formed a globally successful company in the decades that followed and making it the region’s largest employer.
A role model with the courage to take risks
Norbert Müller, who, as one of the very first employees, then Managing Director and later also CEO shaped the Rittal history together with Professor Loh over several decades, acknowledged the jubilarian’s “inexhaustible energy, driven by passion and responsibility," as well as his "incredible entrepreneurial performance.” During both the joint development and internationalisation of the company in the 1970s and the development of new fields of technology, such as emerging software solutions in the early 1980s, Professor Loh had always been a role model. He recognised the need for innovations early on and dared to take risks.
Certificate of Honour from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce
This recognition was confirmed by Ralph Lindackers, who, as a Friedhelm Loh Group board member, presented a certificate of honour from the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry to the “entrepreneur and designer” Friedhelm Loh on his anniversary. The fact that he had also made the entire region well known in Germany was also underscored by his positions as President of the ZVEI (German Electro and Digital Industry Association) and Vice President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) from 2006 to 2014.
CEO Markus Asch honours lifetime achievement
In his laudatory speech, Markus Asch, CEO of Rittal International and Rittal Software Systems, focused primarily on how the entrepreneur had shaped the global player Rittal over half a century, giving it his DNA: “It is a lifetime achievement that you have provided and are providing for our employees and their families, for the region with which you are so closely associated, and for your companies. It is a life’s work that has always been dedicated to all our futures. For this, we would like to extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to you.” Mr. Asch praised Loh for embodying the “unconditional customer focus” and for always identifying emerging trends on the horizon much earlier than others – for example, in software or in the idea of optimising entire value-added processes for customers. At the same time, he had always been considerate to those working for the company: “The workers in the plant are vital to you. The people who work and create, who serve and produce.”
“Grateful for the ability to assume responsibility”
This was also the message from the jubilarian himself, who was visibly moved by the ceremony: “Taking on this responsibility for the many people in the company and their families is close to my heart. It’s what motivates me and fills me with great humility. I do this with the help of God in my life, for which I am profoundly grateful.” For him, these opportunities in his entrepreneurial life allow him to look to the future with optimism.