Professor Dr h. c. mult.
3 January 1924 to 18 February 2013
Otto Beisheim was one of the founding fathers of our company – a retailer through and through. The son of an estate manager, he completed an apprenticeship to become a leather tradesman. Following World War II, he joined the electrical-equipment wholesaler Stöcker & Reinshagen in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, and eventually became managing clerk. In 1964, he assumed the position of managing director at the newly founded METRO SB-Großmärkte GmbH & Co. KG headquartered in Mülheim an der Ruhr. In the years to come, he established the cash & carry concept in Germany. Under the sole leadership of Beisheim, who in 1967 added the families Haniel and Schmidt-Ruthenbeck as shareholders and acquired one-third of the company’s stock himself, METRO Cash & Carry went on to become one of the most successful new companies of the post-war period. While Otto Beishem was active in the company, it acquired a majority stake in retail companies like Kaufhof Warenhaus AG. Otto Beisheim was more than just an entrepreneur. He was also a generous patron of culture, sports and science. He financially supported the private business college Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Unternehmensführung (WHU) in Koblenz, Germany, by making a significant contribution in 1993. Since then, WHU has borne the name Otto Beisheim School of Management. In 1994 – two years before METRO AG was founded – Otto Beisheim stepped down as chairman of the board of directors at what was then METRO holding. However, he always maintained close ties with the company.
With Otto Beisheim’s passing in 2013, we lost the person who shaped the history and destiny of METRO GROUP for decades.
Professor Dr Dr h. c. mult.
2 September 1940 to 2 July 2013
Erich Greipl’s life became closely tied to that of Otto Beisheim in the mid-1980s. Erich Greipl, who graduated from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, in 1972, began his career at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research. In 1982, he moved to Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to become marketing director at what was then coop AG. In 1986, Erich Greipl left to join the management board of METRO Großhandelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG. Here, he contributed his extensive expertise as a retail strategy and legal expert in particular to the company and earned the trust of Otto Beisheim. Greipl held various management positions throughout his career including that of managing director of the Otto Beisheim Betriebs GmbH and member of the board of directors at the Prof. Otto Beisheim Stiftung. Since 1995, he had also been a member of the management board of METRO Vermögensverwaltung GmbH & Co. KG. In 1996, he was appointed to the Supervisory Board of the newly founded METRO AG and was a full member until recently. Erich Greipl was deeply involved in promoting the close collaboration of business and science. In 1990, the University of Mannheim appointed him as an honorary professor. In 2002 and 2005, the Dresden University of Technology and the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management respectively awarded him honorary doctorates. Until his death, Erich Greipl was committed to helping meet the needs of industry and medium-sized businesses, including through his position as president of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria.
We would like to pay tribute to the impressive legacy of Otto Beisheim and the splendid achievements of Erich Greipl and silently mourn their passing.
The Management Board and Supervisory Board of METRO AG and employees of METRO GROUP