HARTING Chairman of the Board Dietmar Harting turns 75 but has no plans to slow down.
“An entrepreneur must always be restless,” said Dietmar Harting, chairman of the board at HARTING Technology Group, who just turned 75. “I take great pleasure in dealing with the future of the company.”
The personally liable partner and chairman of the board of the HARTING Technology Group would have good reason to set himself a more leisurely pace, but the entrepreneur in him does not regard his 75th birthday as a reason to withdraw from the company.
“Thanks to the successful generational transition in our company, I have the freedom today to focus on the topics of the future and address new technologies and innovations,” he said.
A Family Business
Since 1969, the East Westphalian has stood at the helm of the family company his parents Wilhelm and Marie Harting founded in Minden in 1945. Determined, passionate, and persistent, as well as endowed with great foresight and an untiring zest for action, Harting developed the high-tech SME to a globally active player in the electronics and electrical engineering sector. The HARTING Technology Group ranks as a worldwide leader in the heavy industrial connector area. Top performance, quality, and innovation are the hallmarks of the company.
HARTING offers tailored solutions and products for the three lifelines of industry: data, signal, and power. Today, with more than 40 national subsidiaries and some 4,000 employees worldwide, HARTING is set, for the first time, to generate sales in excess of €500 million in the 2013/2014 business year. At its Espelkamp headquarters, HARTING is the largest employer with a workforce of around 2,000. The company is characterized by its multifaceted commitment to the social, cultural, and sports sectors, as well as the technology-oriented education, training, and advancement of younger generations.
Shaping the Company
After studying electrical engineering and economics in Munich, Hanover, and Cologne (graduating with a degree in commerce), Dietmar Harting began his career with the family business in 1967 at the age of 28. By this time, the company, which had moved to Espelkamp in 1950, had a workforce of around 1,000 and a turnover in Germany of some DM 29 million. In the early post-war years, founder Wilhelm Harting found success with day-to-day consumer products such as lamps, hot plates, and irons, as well as jukeboxes. Later on, the range was expanded to include a newly developed, robust, and easy-to-use connector. The triumph of the universally applicable Han connector paved the way for the dynamic development of the young company.
Since joining the family business, Dietmar Harting has consistently and successfully focused on internationalizing the Technology Group, as well as on the continuous, innovative development of the product portfolio. He made his vision clear as long ago as 1996: “We want to become a global enterprise.” Coupled with this is the intention to remain an independent family business. The hands-on manager, whose original wish was to become an archeologist, has a passion for more than just business and technology. From the very beginning, Harting has been actively committed to various organizations and associations and has accepted numerous positions and duties that extend far beyond his own business interests.
Supporting the Industry
From 1998 to 2004, Harting was the first proprietor of an SME to hold the presidency of the German Electrical and Electronics Industry Association (ZVEI). In acknowledgement of his services, at the end of his term of office he was appointed honorary president of the ZVEI. As chairman of the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE, Harting continues to pursue his particular passion for standardization. Moreover, he is a personal member of the Landeskuratorium NRW of the Stifterverband (Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft) and chairman of the German Society for the Promotion of Research on Standardization e.V. (FNS).
A Community Leader
The company itself is closely linked with the history and industrial development of the town of Espelkamp, where it has been headquartered for almost six decades. HARTING was one of the first five companies to set up business in the community founded by refugees in 1949 and is the only one still family-owned. As the Technology Group has grown, it has played a major role in the positive development of all areas of life in Espelkamp. Its clear commitment to the town and the surrounding region has been reflected in major investment and modern industrial architecture. This was also underscored by the inauguration of the new HARTING Technology and Quality Center (HQT) in Espelkamp this June.
Apart from the company and his numerous honorary positions, Dietmar Harting enjoys hunting and farming. His commitment to sustainability, climate, and environmental protection issues extends back over decades, long before the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) was implemented. As he occasionally relates informally in conversations, it was the “Limits to Growth” report by Club of Rome that sparked his interest at the time. This prompted him to design and build his own bio methane gas facility in Uchte, Lower Saxony; the facility has been providing the HARTING Technology Group with energy since then. As a welcome ancillary benefit, the surplus energy generated heats the outdoor swimming pool in Uchte.
When he is not immersed in the future of the company, his relaxed attention is on the “future” of his family – his eight grandchildren.
Please join us in wishing Dietmar Harting a very happy 75th birthday!
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