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Businessman Schaeffler celebrates his 80th birthday in Kitzbühel

Businessman Schaeffler celebrates his 80th birthday in Kitzbühel

Maria Elisabeth Schaeffler Thomann celebrates her birthday on August 17th. The entrepreneur continued to open new horizons.

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Maria Elizabeth Schaeffler with her son at the 2009 Continental Annual General Meeting.

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Herzogenaurach – Maria Elisabeth Schaeffler Thomann stands over decades of eventful industrial history and has become a billionaire. She will turn 80 on August 17th. It’s getting quieter around the woman with the striking blond man. Austrian Schaeffler Thomann, who had been a powerful woman in the German corporate empire Scheffler for decades and one of the wealthiest people in Germany and Austria, was holding the strings ahead of her 80th birthday with no less publicity.

Even a few years ago, the company’s senior lady presence was even greater: Schaeffler-Thumann insisted on speaking to employees at factory anniversaries, for example, or honoring themselves. She wants to celebrate her birthday with her husband and some of her buddies at her house in Kitzbühel without any fanfare. Jubilee is now away from the theater of operations.

It was different for many years. Maria Elizabeth wanted to become a doctor when the young woman met 24-year-old entrepreneur Georg Schaeffler at her university in Vienna at the age of 22. The young woman abandoned her career ambitions and moved from Vienna to Herzogenaurach. Her path as the wife of a glamorous entrepreneur seems to have been set – it was meant to be a path with many curves. In 1996 the husband, George Schaeffler, died, and in the same year his son, George F.F. to the United States. Maria Elizabeth, a woman from a good family, focused more especially on the fine arts, stood alone at the age of 55, at the head of a global technology company with sales of billions, in the middle of a man’s world.

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In Austria, Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler was a member of the supervisory board of the Austrian state holding company ÖIAG (now ÖBAG) from May 2008 to March 2014. There is also near-bankruptcy in the company’s history. In 2008, Schaefflers acquired the largest supplier of cars Continental. A few years ago, two other acquisitions, including the FAG Kugelfischer deal, went well. But shortly thereafter, US investment bank Lehman Brothers fell to its knees, markets crashed around the world, and Schaeffler and Conte drifted away. The Schaefflers threatened to become debt billionaires. Maria Elizabeth Schaeffler had to go to the state – and she was drowned out by the cold.

When Schaeffler AG was announced in 2015 and Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler famously rang the bell on Frankfurt grounds, she and her son Georg rose to the category of people with the most wealth worldwide, according to reports in the trade media. A year ago, the entrepreneur particularly found her newfound happiness and married former BDI boss Jürgen Thomann, who was the same age even today, in Kitzbühel. (APA, dpa)

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