Professor Walter H. Lechler passed away
Dettingen/Erms (Germany), May 18, 2018 +++ The long-time Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ElringKlinger AG, Professor Walter Herwarth Lechler, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Thursday, May 17, 2018, at the age of 75. The day before his death he had attended the Annual General Meeting of the Group and exercised the voting rights of the Lechler family.
"The news of Professor Lechler's passing has filled us with tremendous sadness," says Klaus Eberhardt, Lechler's successor as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. "In him ElringKlinger has lost a seminal father figure. The idea of corporate responsibility was always of paramount importance to him, which fundamentally also included social aspects. Our thoughts are with his wife and his family."
Professor Lechler was the son of a Stuttgart-based family of merchants and was himself an entrepreneur throughout his lifetime. In 1972, following his studies in business administration in the United States and Cologne, he became a member of the shareholder committee of the company then known as Elring GmbH. In 1989 he was appointed chairman of that committee. He sat on the Supervisory Board of ElringKlinger AG and its predecessor company ZWL Grundbesitz- und Beteiligungs-AG from 1976 onward, as from 2012 as its Chairman. Having stepped down from the Supervisory Board in May 2017 on the grounds of age, he was elected as its Honorary Chairman. One month later the Evangelische Hochschule Ludwigsburg (Protestant University of Applied Sciences) made him an Honorary Professor. Additionally, he held the position of managing partner of Lechler GmbH, Metzingen, from 1976 onward.
"Alongside his deep entrepreneurial conviction and his exceptional social commitment, I was particularly impressed by his astute ability to focus on that which was essential," says Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG. "With his calm mindset, he examined complex issues in a perceptive and well-judged manner even during hectic times in order to arrive at solutions of long-term merit. In doing so, he became a role model for me and for many others within and beyond the company. He will be sorely missed by the ElringKlinger family and by me personally."
While the death of Walter H. Lechler is tragic news for ElringKlinger AG, it will not lead to any significant changes. As the head of his family, he made provisions for his estate well before his death. The ownership interest of 22 % in ElringKlinger AG, which Walter H. Lechler held himself up to his death, will be transferred to the family trust that had been founded by his uncle Klaus Lechler upon his death. Thus, in future the trust will hold, either directly or indirectly, 52 % of the interests in ElringKlinger AG. The aim of the trust is to ensure the ongoing development of ElringKlinger AG as a company.