Eberhard von Kuenheim

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Eberhard von Kuenheim
Born (1928-10-02) October 2, 1928 (age 86)
Germany Juditten, East Prussia, Germany
Nationality German
Occupation CEO, BMW
(1970 - 1993)
Known for being the Chairman of the Executive Board of BMW, 1970–1993
Predecessor Gerhard Wilcke
Successor Bernd Pischetsrieder
Children Hendrik von Kuenheim, general director of BMW Motorrad[1]

Dr.-Ing. E.h. Eberhard von Kuenheim (born 2 October 1928) is a German industrial manager. He was, between 1970[2] and 1993, Chairman of the executive board (effectively CEO) of the BMW Group.


Kuenheim was born in Juditten (Polish: Judyty) near Bartenstein, (East Prussia). His father died of a riding accident in 1935,[3][4] his mother died in a Soviet NKVD camp after World War II[3][5]

Kuenheim fled the advancing Red Army in early 1945 and was evacuated via Pillau to Western Germany in March 1945 throughout the Operation Hannibal.[3]

He studied mechanical engineering until 1954 at the Technical University of Stuttgart[6] and joined the Quandt Group, BMW's largest shareholder since 1959, in 1965.[3]

On 1 January 1970, Kuenheim became the CEO of the BMW Group. When Kuenheim became CEO, BMW had 23,000 employees; when he left the post in 1993, the number had risen to 71,000.[7] Kuenheim "transformed BMW from a small, unfocused manufacturer of cars and motorcycles into a world performance luxury icon"[8]

After Bernd Pischetsrieder followed him as CEO, Kuenheim guided BMW's supervisory board until 1999. Today Kuenheim is the head of BMW's Eberhard-von-Kuenheim-Foundation. He is also an Honorary Senator of the Technical University of Munich, which named a building at the mechanical engineering faculty after him.


  1. ^ Booth, David (2010-05-01). "Motorrad boss a true biker". The National (Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Media). Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2013-02-16. Before his father, Eberhard von Kuenheim, became CEO in 1970, BMW was an odd little manufacturer best known for eccentric motorcycles and quirky bubble cars. 
  2. ^ "E. von Kuenheim (BMW) "Growth through flexibility". An exclusive interview with Edouard Seidler". Autocar. 145 (nbr 4172): pages 114–115. 23 October 1976. 
  3. ^ a b c d Bernd Ziesemer (2006). Pioniere der deutschen Wirtschaft (in German). ISBN 978-3-593-38121-3. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  4. ^ wirtschaftswoche.de
  5. ^ handelsblatt.com
  6. ^ handwerkermarkt.de
  7. ^ autonews.com
  8. ^ automotivehalloffame.org

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