Gunter Thielen (born August 4, 1942 in Qui Various ) is a German manager and chairman of the Walter Blüchert Foundation . Before that, he held various management positions at Bertelsmann and the Bertelsmann Foundation . For his services as a socio-political and socially oriented entrepreneur, Thielen received, among other things, the Federal Cross of Merit .
Thielen was born in Quiigart / Saar and grew up in Saarbrücken . His father was a civil servant in the Saarland construction department . After graduating from high school, Thielen studied mechanical engineering and economics at RWTH Aachen University . In 1970 he received his doctorate in engineering with a dissertation funded by the Volkswagen Foundation on “Transport processes in binary and ternary membrane systems” .
In 1980 Thielen moved to Bertelsmann's Printing and Industrial Operations division. Under his leadership, the two printing works Maul from Nuremberg and Belser from Stuttgart were merged to form Maul-Belser . Thielen acted as CEO of the new company. In 1985 he was appointed to the Bertelsmann Executive Board, where he was responsible for all printing and industrial operations. He reorganized the group division under the umbrella of a new stock corporation, focused more on services and internationalized the business. He also modernized the working time model, for example, which gave employees and companies alike more freedom. In order to document the change to the outside world, the brand name Arvato was introduced in 1999 . Thielen was now head of one of the fastest growing segments of the group.
In 2000, Mark Wössner announced his resignation from management positions at the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Bertelsmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft , whereupon Thielen took over his duties. After Bertelsmann had also parted ways with Thomas Middelhoff , Thielen was promoted to CEO of the group in 2002 . One of his first tasks was to present the results of an independent historical commission that examined Bertelsmann's past in the Third Reich . In the following years, Thielen successfully consolidated the core business and invested more in digital activities. He also tied the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr more closely to Bertelsmann. Thielen initiated the repurchase of the shares in Groupe Bruxelles Lambert , which prevented an IPO.
At the end of 2007, Thielen handed over the chairmanship to Hartmut Ostrowski. He switched to the supervisory board , which elected him as its chairman. He later became chairman of the supervisory board of the car rental company Sixt and a member of the supervisory board of the pharmaceutical company Sanofi- Aventis. At the beginning of 2008, Thielen also took over as CEO of the Bertelsmann Foundation. It was his declared aim to raise the profile of the organization and to internationalize its activities. Thielen publicly campaigned for more income equity and citizen participation, among other things . He dealt intensively with the education system and the social market economy. Upon reaching the age limit of 70, Thielen stepped down from both the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Executive Board and the Bertelsmann Supervisory Board.
Since then, Thielen has dedicated himself to the Walter Blüchert Foundation , which he set up in 2007 as executor of the will of the publisher and financial broker Walter Fritz Blüchert . It promotes social participation and stands up for people who are in need through no fault of their own. Thielen is chairman of the board of the Walter Blüchert Foundation. Furthermore, since 2011 he has held an honorary professorship at the Reinhard Mohn Institute for Management in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Witten / Herdecke . The institute was opened in 2010 in memory of Reinhard Mohn .
Thielen is married to Ulla Höll. The couple has two children and lives in Gütersloh, Munich and southern France.
- 2003: Federal Cross of Merit, 1st class
- 2005: Global Leadership Award
- 2006: Golden Lion as "Media Man of the Year"
Thielen's closeness to the owners of Bertelsmann caused occasional criticism of his appointment as CEO. In addition, during his time as CEO of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, he had to react to criticism of structures and influence.
In connection with Thielen's role as the owner of the Saarland sausage manufacturer Höll, Thielen was accused by the mayor of the Illingen community , formerly the seat of the now insolvent company, among other things as "ruthlessness towards the common good" and "speculation".
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- 175 Years of Bertelsmann: A Future Story . C. Bertelsmann Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-570-10175-9 , pp. 354 .
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- Stefan Brams: Mission accomplished . In: New Westphalian . August 1, 2007.
- Stefan Brams: Moved to say goodbye . Executive Board gives Gunter Thielen 100 additional training positions when he leaves as CEO. In: New Westphalian . December 13, 2007 (Local Affairs Department).
- Thielen becomes controller . In: Frankfurter Rundschau . January 15, 2008, p. 18 .
- Kristina Spiller: Car rental company Sixt changes supervisory board chairman. Former Bertelsmann boss Thielen joins the committee. In: Financial Times Germany . April 23, 2008, p. 8 .
- Personal : Sanofi-Aventis . In: Financial Times Germany . March 10, 2008, p. 2 .
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- Research center pays tribute to poppies . In: Westfalen-Blatt . October 30, 2010.
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- Stefan Brams: A golden lion for the maker . In: New Westphalian . June 22, 2006.
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- Heike Göbel: "We would like a little competition". In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. April 28, 2008. Retrieved February 28, 2019 .
- Hans-Peter Siebenhaar: "We are not a secret government". In: Handelsblatt. October 25, 2010, accessed October 1, 2016 .
- Armin König attacks Gunter Thielen. In: Saarbrücker Zeitung . September 27, 2013, accessed October 8, 2014 .
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German manager and CEO of the Walter Blüchert Foundation|
|DATE OF BIRTH||4th August 1942|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Quiver|