Heinz Dürr, anchor shareholder and honorary chairman of the global Dürr group, passed away aged 90 on 27 November. He was well known as the former CEO of the German AEG group and for the railway operator Deutsche Bahn.
He also developed the family-owned Dürr group to become one of the leading companies in automation, digitalisation and energy efficiency – including battery production technology.
Dürr was known in the business world for his open-minded approach to entrepreneurship. During his period as chairman of the Employers’ Federation in Baden-Württemberg in the 1970s he negotiated innovative collective agreements, which opened up for a modern cooperation model with the trade unions.
The Clean Technology division within Dürr deals with products and services for electromobility, for example coating systems for battery electrodes. In 2023 the company expanded its range with calendering systems for battery electrodes through the acquisition of the French company Ingecal and a partnership with the US coating specialist LiCAP Technologies.
The dry coating method reduces the need for solvents and can be used for production of solid-state batteries.
Dürr also believed companies have a social responsibility, and he was in favour of SME leadership, a personal approach instead of technocratic leadership. He also created a foundation, Heinz and Heide Dürr Stiftung, to promote science and research.
Dr. Jochen Weyrauch, CEO of Dürr, said: “Given the strong growth in electromobility and the trend toward decentralised energy storage, battery production technology is one of the Dürr Group’s most important growth business fields. Heinz Dürr has always thought outside of the box and questioned things. This made him an extraordinary personality with an impressive range of interests and insatiable curiosity.”
The company said the 29.7% shareholding in Dürr AG will remain in the hands of the Dürr family.
Photo: Heinz Dürr, honorary chairman of the supervisory board. Copyright: Sascha Feuster. Dürr AG