Business/economy

An entrepreneur and technology pioneer celebrates his birthday Professor Dr. Hermann Scholl turns 80 Formative influence on automotive technology

  • Bosch supervisory board chairman Fehrenbach: “Hermann Scholl played a crucial part in many strategic decisions at Bosch.”
  • 50 years in the service of Bosch, ten of them at the very top
  • Passion for engineering: triumph of automotive electronics
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  • June 17, 2015
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press release

Stuttgart – Professor Dr. Hermann Scholl turns 80 this month. On June 21, 2015, the Bosch Group honorary chairman celebrates his birthday. For nearly half a century, Scholl, who has a PhD in electrical engineering, made a lasting mark on the development and success of the supplier of technology and services. Above all, Scholl’s name is associated with the triumph of automotive electronics. As early as the mid-1960s, Scholl played a decisive role in the development of electronic gasoline-injection systems. Later on, this was followed by such pioneering developments as electronic engine control and the life-saving ABS and ESP systems. Under Scholl’s leadership, Bosch became a globally leading automotive supplier. At the same time, he drove forward the diversification of the company with takeovers such as those of Mannesmann Rexroth AG and Buderus AG at the start of the new millennium. “With his entrepreneurial vision, Hermann Scholl played a crucial part in many strategic decisions at Bosch. He also drove the internationalization of Bosch forward, especially in Asia Pacific,” says Franz Fehrenbach, the chairman of the Bosch supervisory board and managing partner of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG. Scholl, who started his Bosch career in 1962, became a member of the executive management in the automotive sector in 1973 and a member of the board of management in 1975. From 1993 to 2003, he was chairman of the board of management. Between 2003 and 2012, he was chairman of the supervisory board and managing partner of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG. Since July 1, 2012, Scholl has been honorary chairman of the Bosch Group.

Pioneer of technological innovation
“For decades, Hermann Scholl repeatedly recognized the potential and opportunities offered by new technologies. Today’s cars jam-packed with technology would be inconceivable without the groundbreaking engineering work associated with Hermann Scholl’s name,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management. Right from the start of the 1960s, Scholl worked to bring electronics into the car. During that time, as an associate in automotive technology advance engineering, he designed a system for the electronic control of manual transmissions. Its modified successor system, adapted for automatic transmissions, is now the standard in all cars featuring such transmissions. The success of electronic gasoline-injection systems has continued unabated. In the mid-1960s, Scholl played a decisive part in developing this resource-conserving technology. Today, Bosch is a global leader for such systems. And with diesel direct injection, Bosch was a key enabler of the triumph of diesel passenger cars. The common-rail system, which was made ready for mass production under Scholl’s leadership at the end of the 1990s, is now the industry standard. Here again, Bosch is the global market leader. Other technological innovations include the first reliable ABS antilock braking system for passenger cars (1978) and the ESP antiskid system for passenger cars (1995). Countless times, the two systems have prevented road accidents and saved lives.

Strategic decisions – huge success
During his roughly ten years at the helm of the company, Scholl drove forward the internationalization and diversification of the company. The sales of the supplier of technology and services doubled from just under 17 billion to 36 billion euros, while the share of sales generated outside Germany rose from 49 to 71 percent. Headcount increased from 165,000 to more than 230,000. Above all, Scholl encouraged expansion in China, Korea, and Japan. With more than 50,000 associates and sales of 6.4 billion euros, China is now Bosch’s most important market outside Germany. Moreover, for nearly 15 years Scholl bore overall responsibility for what was then the Automotive Technology business sector (now Mobility Solutions), first in his role as a member of the board of management (from 1989) and later in combination with his duties as Bosch CEO. At the start of the 1990s, automotive technology accounted for nearly 50 percent of total sales. By the start of the new millennium, this had risen to more than 70 percent. To create a better balance among the business sectors and reduce dependence on automotive technology, Scholl used various acquisitions to strengthen the Industrial Technology and Consumer Goods business sectors, including Mannesmann Rexroth in 2001 and Buderus AG in 2003.

For Professor Dr. Hermann Scholl’s resumé, click here

Contact person for press inquiries:
René Ziegler,
Phone: +49 711 811-7639

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI8946 - June 17, 2015

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