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Berthold Leibinger (* 26 November 1930 in Stuttgart, Germany) is a German engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is founder of the non-profit foundation Berthold Leibinger Stiftung and Associate of the German company Trumpf.
Born in Stuttgart, Berthold Leibinger graduated with Abitur in 1950. He started an apprenticeship as a mechanic at Trumpf and then studied mechanical engineering at the Technische Hochschule Stuttgart. After graduating with a Diplom he became a development engineer in 1958 at Cincinnati Milling Machines (today: Milacron) in Cincinnati (USA). In 1961 he returned to Germany and to Trumpf to manage the assembly department. In 1968 he developed the first contour nibbling machine tool with numerical control. The owner of the company, Christian Trumpf, having no children, named Leibinger as his successor. Leibinger successively took over shares of the company and served as President from 1978 to 2005. On 18 November 2005, he retired from management and became Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Trumpf Group until the end of 2012.
Entrepreneurial and Engineering Achievements
Under the management of Berthold Leibinger Trumpf became the world’s largest manufacturer of machine tools, in particular due to the consequent combination of mechanics and electronics. Trumpf is also one of the largest manufacturers of industrial laser technology and machines for laser cutting.
Berthold Leibinger has been appointed to several important political and economical positions. From 1985 to 1990 he was President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Stuttgart Region and from 1989 to 1992 he served as President of the German Association of Machinery Manufacturers VDMA. He was a member of the supervisory boards of Deutsche Bank and BMW among other companies. From 1999 to 2003 he was Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the chemical company BASF. Berthold Leibinger was Counselor of the Federal State Government of Baden-Württemberg from 1994 to 2005.
Cultural and Social Dedication
Berthold Leibinger is a philanthropist with long lasting involvement in German culture. He is personally involved as Chairman of the Board of the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart and also for the Schiller-Nationalmuseum and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach am Neckar. He is also Senator of the German Academy of Science and Engineering.
In 1992 Berthold Leibinger founded the non-profit foundation Berthold Leibinger Stiftung. It is dedicated to cultural, scientific, religious and social issues. Since 2000 the foundation biennially awards the international innovation prize Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis for applied laser technology. The Berthold Leibinger Zukunftspreis (engl.: future prize) has honored milestones in research of the application or generation of laser light since 2006.
Berthold Leibinger has received a number of decorations for his entrepreneurial and engineering achievements, among them the honorable titles Dr.-Ing. e.h. and Professor of the Universität Stuttgart.
He received the Bundesverdienstkreuz Cross of Merit, First class in 2006 and the Great Cross of Merit with star in 2007.
Since 2006 he has worn the Werner von Siemens Ring in recognition of his achievements as an inventor and patron of engineering sciences.
In 2007 he received the Graf-von-Linden-Medaille of the Stuttgart Society for Geography and Ethnology (Gesellschaft für Erd- und Völkerkunde zu Stuttgart) as well as the Maecenas-Ehrung of AsKI, the German Association of Independent Cultural Institutions (Arbeitskreis selbständiger Kultur-Institute e. V.)
- Translation from German Wikipedia entry