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Wolfgang Reitzle

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Wolfgang Reitzle
Born (1949-03-07) 7 March 1949 (age 75)
EducationDoctorate in Engineering (Dr.-Ing.)
Alma materTechnical University of Munich
SpouseNina Ruge

Hans Wolfgang Reitzle (born 7 March 1949 in Neu-Ulm) is a German business executive.

Early life and education[edit]

After leaving his school in Ulm, Reitzle continued his education at the Technical University of Munich where he studied mechanical engineering and economics. In 1971, aged just 22, he became Munich's youngest ever "Diplom-Ingenieur" graduate. In 1974, he received his doctorate in engineering (Dr.-Ing.).


In 1976, he joined BMW where he would progress to the No. 2 position. He was in charge of product development for more than ten years from 1987, presiding with meticulous attention over the development and launch of a string of successful models.[1]

Between 1999 and 1 May 2002,[2] Reitzle was the head of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, overseeing the Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover marques. He let it be known that he left Ford when it became clear that he would not have sufficient control of developing new models through to the production process: the cost containing instincts of fellow director Nick Scheele were destined to ensure that the PAG vehicles would not benefit from his uncompromising approach sufficiently to compete on level terms with market leaders such as Lexus and BMW.[3][4][5]

When he left Ford, Reitzle denied having been offered a role with General Motors as heir apparent by Bob Lutz, initially taking over responsibility for Opel and Saab: Ford had provided him with sufficient experience of US auto industry corporate culture.[3] A naval metaphor that he was prepared to place on record was that he "would rather be captain on a destroyer than first officer on an aircraft carrier".[3]

He instead quit the car business and became CEO of The Linde Group,[6] at that time a leading manufacturer of Fork-lift trucks and currently the world's largest industrial gas company, joining the board in 2002 and becoming a chairman in 2003. He was replaced at Ford by Mark Fields,[7] who had previously headed up Mazda.[3]

On 3 May 2016 in Munich, Reitzle was elected as chairman of the supervisory board of Linde AG.[8][9]

In January 2018 Reitzle was appointed to the supervisory board of the fashion company Bogner. He resigned this post in 2019.[10]

Wolfgang Reitzle has invested in several startups in recent years. For example, he and his wife Nina Ruge together with the billionaire investor Michael Pieper have acquired a stake in the biotech company Tomorrowlabs GmbH.[11] The company, which was founded in 2016 in Vienna by the physician Dominik Duscher and pharmacologist Dominik Thor, is based on the patent-pending HSF ("HIF strengthening factor") active ingredient, which is supposed to promote skin and hair regeneration.[12][13][14]

Other activities[edit]

Corporate boards[edit]

Non-profit organizations[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Reitzle has two daughters by his first marriage. In September 2001, he married television presenter Nina Ruge.


  1. ^ ""Die Zukunft des Autos liegt in neuer Einfachheit": Interview mit BMW Entwicklungschef Wolfgang Reitzle...". Auto Motor u. Sport. Heft. Vol. 13 1996. 14 June 1996. pp. Seite 52–54.
  2. ^ "Reitzle vanquished". Autocar. 232. Vol. (nbr4). 5 May 2002. p. 11.
  3. ^ a b c d "Insider: Wolfgang Reitzle. The man behind some of the world's best cars has quit the industry. He tells us why". CAR Magazine. July 2002. pp. 50–51.
  4. ^ "'Germany is in decline': a manager's verdict on the Merkel era". TheArticle. 12 August 2023. Retrieved 10 January 2024.
  5. ^ "Linde chairman Reitzle's skills put to test with deal collapse". www.ft.com. Retrieved 10 January 2024.
  6. ^ "Linde chairman Reitzle's skills put to test with deal collapse". www.ft.com. Retrieved 10 January 2024.
  7. ^ Flint, Jerry. "The Wolfman Goeth". Forbes.
  8. ^ Revill, John (8 February 2016). "LafargeHolcim's Wolfgang Reitzle to Return to Linde". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 10 January 2024.
  9. ^ "Professor Wolfgang Reitzle elected as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Linde AG | The Linde Group". Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Modebranche: Ex-Linde-Chef Reitzle gibt Vorsitz in Bogners Aufsichtsrat ab". handelsblatt.com (in German). Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Das neue Beauty-Investment von Michael Pieper – HZ". Handelszeitung (in German). Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  12. ^ "Kosmetikbranche: Wie das Beauty-Start-up Tomorrowlabs den Markt erobert". handelsblatt.com (in German). Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  13. ^ andrea.hodoschek (3 August 2020). "Milliardenmarkt Anti-Aging: Start-up aus Österreich mischt mit". kurier.at (in German). Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  14. ^ Tomorrowlabs. "Tomorrowlabs". Tomorrowlabs. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  15. ^ "Schlagzeilen, News und Newsticker". ZEIT ONLINE.
  16. ^ "LafargeHolcim". LafargeHolcim.com. 6 October 2014.
  17. ^ "Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle". Linde AG. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  18. ^ 2003 Annual Report: Advisory Boards Deutsche Bank.
  19. ^ Board of TrusteesDeutsches Museum.
  20. ^ Board of Trustees Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (KHI).
  21. ^ Advisory Council Munich Security Conference.
  22. ^ Board of Trustees Roland Berger Foundation.
  23. ^ Board of Trustees Senckenberg Nature Research Society.
  24. ^ Board of Trustees Technical University of Munich (TUM).
  25. ^ Board of Trustees Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft.

External links[edit]