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7 March 1949 |
|Education||Doctorate in Engineering (Dr.-Ing.)|
|Alma mater||Technical University of Munich|
Early life and education
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.
Between 1999 and 1 May 2002, 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.
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. 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".
He instead quit the car business and became CEO of The Linde Group, 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, who had previously headed up Mazda. He's since April 29, 2014 Holcim's chairman of the Board and of the Governance & Strategy Committee, Member of the Nomination & Compensation Committee. In Munich, on 3 May 2016 he was elected as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Linde AG.
Reitzle has two daughters by his first marriage. In September 2001, he married television presenter Nina Ruge.
- ""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.
- "Reitzle vanquished". Autocar. 232. Vol. (nbr4). 5 May 2002. p. 11.
- "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.
- Forbes, Jerry Flint, 19 April 02
- "Professor Wolfgang Reitzle elected as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Linde AG | The Linde Group". Retrieved 2016-08-29.
- Linde-Chef Reitzle neuer Conti-Aufsichtsratschef vom 19.10.2009
- "Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle". Linde AG. Retrieved 20 May 2010.