“After over 30 years at the helm of the Knorr-Bremse Group, and in view of the fact that I will turn 75 in a few months’ time, in future I want to dedicate more time to my private life and personal business interests,” said Heinz Hermann Thiele. “Needless to say, as shareholder of the Knorr-Bremse Group I will retain my close links to the company and will continue to be involved in all important and above all strategic decisions.”
- Since Heinz Hermann Thiele took over control in the mid-1980s, the Knorr-Bremse Group, based in Munich, Germany, has become the world's leading manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles (2013 revenues: $5.9 billion). Thiele joined the firm's legal department in the late 60s and quickly ascended the ranks. When the grandson of founder/inventor Georg Knorr decided to sell his ownership stake, the company found itself on the block and Thiele, backed by Deutsche Bank, emerged as controlling shareholder. Having withdrawn from his position on the operational side of the business in 2007, Thiele, age 73, now sits on the supervisory board. Effective in July 2015, son Henrik Thiele will be responsible for the global activities of Knorr-Bremse in the Rail Vehicle Systems sector. Heinz Hermann Thiele has already given a portion of the company to Henrik and his sister, Julia. In early 2011, Thiele started investing in quoted German railroad equipment maker Vossloh (he now holds a 25% stake), where he heads the advisory board.