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In memoriam

The
manufacturing and machining world is mourning the death of a leader
in the industry – Berthold Leibinger. He died in October in
Stuttgart at the age of 87.

Under
his guidance, Trumpf became a world leader in laser cutting
solutions. And while the German native was born, studied and worked
in Stuttgart, Leibinger was what many describe as a citizen of the
world. His legacy is proof of it.

Leibinger
came to the United States in 1958 after receiving his engineering
degree and worked at Cincinnati Milling Machines (Milacron today)
before returning to Germany to join Trumpf in 1961. Soon thereafter,
he became a partner in the company – at the same time taking the
position of managing director.

When
Trumpf started manufacturing in the United States about 25 years ago,
Leibinger wanted to ensure that the company could serve customers
beyond Germany and the United States, so he began opening facilities
in Mexico and China and elsewhere. Today, with around 70
subsidiaries, Trumpf can be found throughout Europe and is also
represented in North and South America and Asia.

Leibinger
understood the importance of participating in the global community,
but he also had a deep understanding of laser technology. According
to a news release announcing his passing, Leibinger “understood the
potential of light as a tool more than any of his peers, and he is
now regarded as one of the pioneers in the industrial application of
lasers.”

Trumpf
leadership remains in the family. In 2005, Leibinger handed over the
reins to his eldest daughter, Dr. Nicola Leibinger-

Kammüller
who serves as president and chairwoman of the company’s managing
board. Dr. Peter Leibinger, his son, is vice chairman of the managing
board. Another daughter, Professor Regine Leibinger, is an architect
in Berlin.

While
Leibinger is renowned for his engineering and business achievements,
he is also known for his philanthropic outreach. In 1992, he founded
a non-profit foundation called Berthold Leibinger

Stiftung,
which is dedicated to cultural, scientific, religious and charitable
purposes. In 2000, the foundation established the internationally
celebrated Berthold Leibinger Innovation Prize, which is awarded
every two years to honor scientific innovation and research into
laser technology.

Leibinger
was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Stuttgart in
1990. Six years later, he received an honorary title from the
Minister President of the state of Baden-Württemberg.

Leibinger
was also appointed to economic and political positions, including the
president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Stuttgart region and
president of the German Association of Machinery Manufacturers. He
was also a member of the supervisory boards of BMW and Deutsche Bank.
From 1999 to 2003, he was the chairman of the supervisory board of
BASF.

“Berthold
Leibinger was a visionary engineer and entrepreneur,” said Dr.
Jürgen Hambrecht,
chairman of the supervisory board of the Trumpf Group. “Everything
he did was ultimately directed toward people’s welfare and the
common good. He was an outstanding example to us all.”