Renate Pilz has been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for her outstanding entrepreneurial and social commitment. Minister of Economic Affairs Hoffmeister-Kraut: “A quite special entrepreneurial personality, Baden-Württemberg-style – and a pioneer for innovation and digitisation”.
Ostfildern, 24 Jan 2020
Federal Cross of Merit for Renate Pilz from Esslingen
On this occasion the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs has published the following press release:
MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS, LABOUR AND HOUSING, PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
PRESS RELEASE No. 13/2020 / 23 January 2020
Today (23 January), the Minister of Economic Affairs Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut has presented Renate Pilz with the German Federal Cross of Merit, awarded to her by the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for her outstanding entrepreneurial and social commitment. “You are a quite special entrepreneurial personality, Baden-Württemberg-style” said the Minister, paying tribute. “After the tragic death of your husband in 1975 you took over his medium-sized business and – without any previous technical or economic knowledge – turned it into a global player in automation and safety technology. This extraordinary commitment is now getting the acknowledgement it deserves. Today, with over 3,000 products, Pilz GmbH & Co. KG is a flagship of Baden-Württemberg-style precision and a highly respected ambassador for our country throughout the world.”
Renate Pilz has focused completely on innovation and internationalisation in her company. “To power its innovations Pilz regularly invests a figure as high as around 20 per cent of its turnover into research and development – truly a record level! No surprise then, that you have already tackled the digital transformation while others were not yet even talking about it”, Hoffmeister-Kraut continued. For Renate Pilz, innovation has never been only a question of technology. “Bringing people with you, convincing them, training them and maintaining the company’s family spirit even as a global player: That was your corporate philosophy, which lives on today with your children, who have now succeeded you”, said the Minister.
With her high ethical standards and sense of responsibility, the impact of Renate Pilz has regularly extended beyond her own factory gates, with her commitment to the Association of Catholic Entrepreneurs, for example, or her dedication to an aid project for disadvantaged girls in southern India. Hoffmeister-Kraut emphasised: “Particularly in this time of upheaval we need role models like Renate Pilz – both in a business and social respect. Renate Pilz was not afraid of the unknown. She has shown how courage, a willingness to take risks, hard work and perseverance lead to success. The strategic vision for the company was just as important to her as her heart for her staff.”
Renate Pilz was born in Göppingen in 1940. When her husband, the entrepreneur Peter Pilz, lost his life in a plane crash in 1975, she took over his medium-sized business with around 200 staff. Today, Pilz GmbH & Co. KG has around 2,500 staff in 42 subsidiaries worldwide; over 1,000 staff are based at the head office in Ostfildern. The company is an international technology leader in automation and safety technology. After 23 years, Renate Pilz handed over the management of the company to her children at the end of 2017.
The Federal Cross of Merit was founded in 1951 by the then president Theodor Heuss. It is awarded for special political, economic or intellectual achievements.
If you have any questions about this press release, please contact the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs directly.
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