Reinhold Würth

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Reinhold Würth (born April 20, 1935 in Öhringen ) is a German-Austrian entrepreneur and art patron. From 1958 he built the screw trading company Würth into the international market leader in fastening and assembly technology with around 77,000 employees today. From 1999 to 2003, Würth was an honorary professor at the Interfacultative Institute for Entrepreneurship at the University of Karlsruhe (TH) and has been awarded several honorary doctorates .



Reinhold Würth is the son of Alma Würth and Adolf Würth , who founded a screw wholesaler for the joinery and metal trade in Künzelsau in Hohenlohe in July 1945 . He received violin lessons. When Reinhold Würth was 14 years old, his father canceled him from the secondary school and hired him in 1949 as an apprentice and second employee in his wholesaler for screws in Künzelsau.

Working life

When his father died, Reinhold Würth was 19 years old. After he came of age (at the time 21), he took over the management two years later, in 1956. In the decades that followed, Würth succeeded in turning the regional trading company into a global company. To this day, his customers come from the commercial and industrial sectors. Gradually, Würth also started buying up screw manufacturers. Since the domestic market for fastening technology was always very fragmented and vulnerable to the economic cycle, Würth expanded its trading abroad. In 1962 the first foreign sales company was founded in the Netherlands.

In 2013 the Würth Group is active in over 80 countries with over 400 companies. It achieved sales of 10.13 billion euros in the 2014 financial year, 56% of total sales are generated abroad. In 1994 Reinhold Würth withdrew from the operational management of the Würth Group and took over the chairmanship of the corporate advisory board until 2006. From 1999 to 2003 he was director of the newly founded Institute for Entrepreneurship at the University of Karlsruhe. Forbes magazine estimated his net worth at $ 12.8 billion in 2017; This puts Würth in 11th place in the list of the richest Germans and 130th worldwide. Würth contributed his assets to the Würth Künzelsau Foundation , which will continue to run the company after his death. Together with his wife Carmen Würth, he transferred the family share to a foundation in 1987, which he heads as chairman of the foundation's supervisory board as the highest body of the Würth Group.

Tax investigations

At the end of March 2008, there were allegations that Reinhold Würth was guilty of tax evasion . The news magazine Der Spiegel published from it leaked documents that the Stuttgart public prosecutor had been investigating Würth and five other people from the group's environment since autumn 2006. At the end of May 2008, it became known that Würth agreed to discontinue the proceedings in exchange for a fine. The Heilbronn District Court issued a penalty order against Würth amounting to 700 daily rates. The entrepreneur is therefore considered to have a criminal record . Fines were also imposed on two other responsible persons in the Würth Group. The tax procedure is now over, as all those affected have accepted the penalty orders.

According to the public prosecutor's office, all of the accused “did not gain any advantages of their own”. Rather, the cost allocations between domestic and foreign parts of the group were disputed. The legality of tax-reducing offsetting via the German parent company was the core of the dispute between Würth and the tax authorities. Since the clarification of the legality would have taken several years and a damage to the reputation of Würth's life's work would inevitably have been expected, he accepted the lesser evils of tax arrears, fines and criminal records. In an interview with the FAZ , Würth said: "If I had been younger, I would have defended myself in court."


Würth has been married to his wife Carmen Würth (born Linhardt * 1937) since 1956 and is a member of the New Apostolic Church with her, and they have three adult children. One of the two daughters, Bettina Würth , is a member of the five-person Advisory Board of the Würth Group and has been its chairman since 2006. Reinhold and Carmen Würth have lived in Hermersberg Castle near Niedernhall since 1974 ; Like other historic Hohenlohe buildings, he had the building erected in 1540 renovated at great expense. Würth has a second home in Salzburg . After the tax investigations, he applied for Austrian citizenship in 2010 . Reinhold Würth bought the Vibrant Curiosity motor yacht in 2009 . Würth flew his business jets for more than 40 years; he had a license as a professional pilot ( ATPL ), which he gave up in 2015 for health reasons.

In June 2015, the then 50-year-old son was kidnapped by Würth, who is mentally disabled as a result of a vaccination and therefore lived in a dormitory in Schlitz . He was released unharmed by the hostage takers. On March 14, 2018, various news outlets reported that the alleged kidnapper had been caught. A suspect was tried in October 2018. On November 27, 2018, the district court of Giessen acquitted the defendants, as the court did not consider it proven that the defendant was actually the kidnapper.


At an event in Künzelsau, Würth warned against a shift to the right, because "[many] small-minded people would like to change our constitution today , according to which we are obliged to take in people who are worried about their lives." , "To keep this right." In addition, "the proximity of large parts of the AfD to brown ideas [...] fatally reminds of the Weimar period ".

Promoter of culture and science

In addition to his entrepreneurial activity, Reinhold Würth has appeared as a promoter of art and culture. In 1985, he founded the world's first combination of an administration building with an art gallery in Künzelsau. Würth is convinced of the motivation of its employees through art. By 2008 he founded and maintained thirteen museums. These include the Würth Museum and the collection for screws and threads in Künzelsau as well as the Würth art gallery in Schwäbisch Hall with modern art.

In addition to the respective national headquarters of the Würth Group, there are now art museums in Denmark, Austria, Holland, Norway, Italy, Belgium, the Forum Würth Arlesheim in Switzerland and the Museo Würth La Rioja in Spain. The Würth Collection , which is shown alternately in the museums, is one of the most important European private collections. In 2010 it comprised 12,500 paintings, drawings and sculptures by well-known artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Musée Würth France Erstein was built in Erstein near Strasbourg next to the French branch Würth France, which is one of the group's most important foreign sales companies. The museum covers around 3000 m² and was opened on January 27, 2008 with works by Emil Nolde , Max Ernst , René Magritte , Georg Baselitz and Jörg Immendorff from the Würth art collection.

When the collection of paintings in the Princely Fürstenberg Collections was to be dissolved and sold in 2003 , Würth's purchase prevented the collection of paintings by old German painters such as Lucas Cranach the Elder and the Meister von Messkirch (Falkensteiner Altar) from being broken up . Since then, these paintings from the Würth Collection have been exhibited in the Johanniterkirche in Schwäbisch Hall.

In 2011 his purchase of the important early Renaissance painting “ Darmstädter Madonna ” or protective coat Madonna by Hans Holbein the Younger for around 50 million euros caused a stir . It is considered the "absolute highlight" of the Würth Collection   and has also been on display since January 2012 in the Johanniterkirche in Schwäbisch Hall. According to the Spiegel , Würth is also one of the supporters of the New Apostolic Church .

With his Foundation Würth , founded in 1987, he supports the company's cultural work, among other things by awarding prestigious prizes. After a generous donation from Würth, the Künzelsau branch of Heilbronn University was renamed Reinhold-Würth University in April 2005 .

Würth is accused of precipitating the demolition of one of the oldest half-timbered buildings on the market square of Künzelsau in February 2009 in order to build a modern hotel complex.



Würth as namesake

  • The women's epee world cup tournament for the "Reinhold-Würth-Cup" has been taking place regularly at the Tauberbischofsheim Fecht Club since 1987 .


  • Chairman of the citizens' initiative for the Heilbronn-Franken region
  • First chairman of the State Museum Württemberg Association
  • Curator of the student management consultancy delta eV

Fonts (selection)

  • 1985: Contributions to corporate management. Swiridoff, Schwäbisch Hall, 447 pp., Ill.
  • Würth. A collection. Published by Museum Würth and Adolf Würth GmbH and Co. KG. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1991.
  • 1995: The secret of success in leadership culture. An entrepreneur's balance sheet. Reinhold Würth in collaboration with Dirk Bavendamm, Frankfurt a. M .; New York, Campus-Verlag , 364 pp., Numerous. Ill., Graph. Darst .; Swiridoff, Künzelsau 1999, ISBN 3-934350-08-9 .
    engl. Edition: Management culture. The secret of success. An entrepreneur takes stock. ISBN 3-593-35421-7 .
  • 1995: together with Deppert-Lippitz, Barbara: The screw between power and splendor. The thread in antiquity. Joint exhibition on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Würth GmbH & Co. KG company in Künzelsau-Gaisbach in 1995. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1995, 212 pages, ISBN 3-7995-3628-0 .
  • 1998: As a medium-sized company to global market leadership , in: Peter W. Weber (Ed.): Performance-oriented management. Increase performance instead of lowering costs , Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt a. M., New York, pp. 45-54.
  • 2001: Entrepreneurship in Germany. Paths to responsibility. Swiridoff, Künzelsau, 303 p., Writings of the Interfacultative Institute for Entrepreneurship at the University of Karlsruhe (TH); IEP vol. 1, ISBN 3-934350-32-1 .
  • 2003: Current of Time. Economy and society on the threshold of the 21st century. Swiridoff, Künzelsau, 192 p., 10 photos, writings of the Interfacultative Institute for Entrepreneurship at the University of Karlsruhe (TH); Contributions by Reinhold Würth, Richard von Weizsäcker , Hans Küng , ISBN 3-934350-45-3 .
  • 2003: together with Hans-Joachim Klein: Business classes in schools on the rise? Swiridoff, Künzelsau, 383 p., Graph. Darst., Writings of the Interfacultative Institute for Entrepreneurship at the University of Karlsruhe (TH); Vol. 7, ISBN 3-89929-013-5 .
  • 2003: Who dares wins! Business start-ups in Germany. Swiridoff, Künzelsau, 180 p., Numerous. b / w. Fig., Writings of the Interfacultative Institute for Entrepreneurship at the University of Karlsruhe, ISBN 3-89929-001-1 .


  • Schönherr, Karlheinz: Screwed up. Reinhold Würth, the career of an entrepreneur. Econ, Düsseldorf 1991, 264 pp., Ill .; Swiridoff, Künzelsau 2001, 3rd, unchanged edition, ISBN 3-934350-33-X .
  • Zulauf, Silvia: Company and Myth - The Invisible Success Factor. Wiesbaden 1994, 160 pages with illustrations, ISBN 3-409-18754-5 .
  • Schwarz, Hans-Peter: Würth: advancing architecture. With an introduction by Reinhold Würth. Aries, Munich 1995, 320 p., Numerous illustrations and plates.
  • Weber, Carmen Sylvia (ed.): Between passion, vision and calculation. Words from culture and business on the occasion of Reinhold Würth's 70th birthday. Swiridoff, Künzelsau 2005, 179 pp., Ill., Graph. Darst., ISBN 3-89929-065-8 .
  • Grau, Ute and Guttmann, Barbara: Reinhold Würth. An entrepreneur and his company. Swiridoff, Künzelsau 2005, 336 pp., Numerous illustrations, ISBN 3-89929-057-7 .
  • Venohr, Bernd : Grow like Würth. The secret of global success . Campus, Frankfurt / New York 2006, 210 pages, numerous illustrations, ISBN 3-593-37962-7 .
  • Helge Timmerberg : Reinhold Würth: The Lord of the Screws , Piper, Munich 2020, ISBN 978-3-492-07003-4 .


  • The entrepreneur Reinhold Würth. Documentary, Germany, 2005, 30 min., Script and director: Tilman Achtnich, production: SWR , first broadcast: April 20, 2005, table of contents .
  • Art enjoyment after work - the entrepreneur Reinhold Würth and his Europe-wide museums. Documentary, Germany, 2008, 43:30 min., Script and director: Ursula Böhm, production: SWR, first broadcast: January 19, 2008, summary by arte, ( memento from April 1, 2015 in the Internet Archive ).
  • Würth's world - from screw dealer to global corporation. Documentary, Germany, 2015, 44:30 min., Script and direction: Hanspeter Michel, production: SWR, first broadcast: April 12, 2015 on SWR, summary by SWR ( memento from April 20, 2015 in the web archive ) and online -Video .
  • Collecting art with ... Reinhold Würth. Documentary, Germany, 2015, 26 min., Script and director: Nicola Graef and Julia Zinke, production: Lona • media, SWR , arte , first broadcast: May 17, 2015 on arte, table of contents with film excerpt from arte, and a. with Tomi Ungerer .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Katja Michel: "I was a late bloomer, Albert a young savage" . , November 5, 2010
  2. Christoph Platen, Thomas Rietschel: Networking of Art and Business ( Memento from January 11, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) In: neue musikzeitung , 1998, No. 10.
  3. ↑ Age of majority reduced from 21 to 18 years. In: , 2008.
  4. Company portrait. In: Würth Group , accessed on May 27, 2015.
  5. ^ The World's Billionaires. Reinhold Wuerth & family. In: Forbes Magazine , September 2017.
  6. mik / ddp : Screw billionaire Würth in the sights of the public prosecutor. In: Spiegel online , March 30, 2008
  7. sam / AFP / dpa : Würth gets away with a fine. In: Spiegel Online , May 28, 2008.
  8. dpa / Reuters / jkr / tob: Screw King Würth: The convicted multi-billionaire. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , May 28, 2008.
  9. Manfred Stockburger: 3.5 million euros fine for Würth. In: Heilbronner Voice , May 29, 2008.
  10. Martin Buchenau: Würth reaches an agreement with the public prosecutor. In: Handelsblatt , May 29, 2008.
  11. Georg Meck: "If I look in the mirror, I see a crook." In: FAZ , March 22, 2009, interview.
  12. Birthday: "I am grateful for what I did not have". In: Südwest Presse . July 18, 2017, accessed June 21, 2019 .
  13. Würths Welt - From screw dealer to global corporation. Documentary, Germany, 2015; see # films , see there from 15:45 min.
  14. Dagmar Deckstein : Würth's world. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , January 5, 2009.
  15. Melanie Ahlemeier : The Revenge of the Screw King In: , May 17, 2010.
  16. Burkhard Riering: Reinhold Würth: The restless retirees. In: Deutsche Handwerks Zeitung , April 21, 2015.
  17. Hans Georg Frank: Abduction of Würth son: Hours of fear. In: Südwest Presse , June 18, 2015.
  18. Kidnapper captured by billionaire's son Würth. In: , March 14, 2018.
  19. Wiebke Ramm : How Carmen Würth negotiated with the kidnapper of her son. In: Spiegel Online , October 15, 2018.
  20. Regional Court of Gießen: Defendant acquitted in the Würth kidnapping case. In: , November 28, 2018.
  21. Entrepreneur Reinhold Würth: "Many small-minded people would like to change our Basic Law.", July 19, 2018
  22. Reactions of German managers to Chemnitz: “Everyone is called upon to counter radicalization.”, September 7, 2018
  23. Reinhold Würth: "The king of screws is a really stupid name" . In: , November 11, 2019.
  24. Ursula Böhm: Enjoying art after work. ( Memento from April 1, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) In: arte , January 19, 2008.
  25. lsw: Würth shows Nolde in Alsace. In: Heilbronner Voice , May 11, 2006, accessed on May 3, 2015.
  26. Falkensteiner Altar of the Master of Messkirch. In: , accessed on May 27, 2015.
  27. ^ A b Adrienne Braun: Reinhold Würth is 80. The gloss of art lifts the image. In: Stuttgarter Zeitung , April 19, 2015.
  28. Rüdiger Jungbluth : Successful entrepreneur: In a class of its own. In: Die Zeit , No. 45, November 3, 2011.
  29. ^ Christian von Rickens: Mittelstand. The possessed. In: Der Spiegel , September 21, 2013, No. 39, p. 83.
  30. Diethart Kerbs, interest group Bauernhaus e. V .: Capital power against monument protection - The Künzelsau scandal. In: Holznagel, association body of the Bauernhaus e. V. June 2009, accessed January 10, 2018 .
  31. ^ Roman Herzog : Hall of Fame 2004 - laudation for Reinhold Würth. Manager Magazin, June 25, 2004.
  32. ^ Thomas Senger: Reinhold Würth Honorary Senator of the University of Stuttgart. Heilbronner Voice, November 19, 2005, accessed on April 15, 2019 .
  33. Michael Seifert: University award for Reinhold Würth and honorary senator for Tilman Todenhöfer. Science Information Service (idw), October 21, 2009.
  34. Ralf Reichert: Reinhold Würth now carries the Order for Art and Literature. Heilbronn Voice, December 16, 2009, accessed on April 15, 2019 .
  35. jsch: Tauberbischofsheim: Reinhold Würth receives Emil Beck Memorial Prize price. Main-Post , October 7, 2011.
  36. Monika Landgraf: Carl Friedrich Medal of Honor for Reinhold Würth. Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (idw), press release from October 22, 2012.
  37. PM: Reinhold Würth also receives Folkwang Prize. Lifelong passionate commitment to art and cultural education recognized. Südwest Presse , October 16, 2013.
  38. Fränkische Nachrichten: Salzburg honors Reinhold Würth. Fränkische Nachrichten, May 9, 2015, accessed on April 15, 2019 .
  39. KIT Karlsruhe: Reinhold Würth becomes Honorary Senator at KIT. KIT - Karlsruhe Institute of Technologies, September 15, 2015, accessed on April 15, 2019 .
  40. Reinhold Würth awarded honorary citizen of the city of Palermo. Südtirol News, September 13, 2018, accessed on March 1, 2019 .
  41. ^ Eagle wings in the Chiemseehof - new sculpture by Anselm Kiefer in the courtyard of the Salzburg seat of government / Decoration of honor from the State of Salzburg for Reinhold Würth. In: Würth Group, April 10, 2019, accessed on October 16, 2019 .
  42. From boiler room to Olympic victory - the success story of FC Tauberbischofsheim. Fencing Club Tauberbischofsheim e. V., accessed April 20, 2019 .
  43. Curators of delta eV Student Management Consulting delta eV, accessed on September 17, 2017 .