||Although Horst Siedle was a member of an old-established Black Forest family, he was a born-and-bred Berliner. His father sold products from the Furtwangen-based company in the capital city, where Horst Siedle came into the world in 1938. At the age of six, he relocated to Furtwangen. His family moved into a house in their home city. Almost sixty years later he had this extensively refurbished and restored to its former glory. It would have been cheaper to tear it down and rebuild it. But, as was so often the case, Horst Siedle’s decision was about more than just the numbers.|
Faithful to Furtwangen
Horst Siedle regarded remaining loyal to a location as part of a company’s responsibility. As the staunch owner of the mid-sized company, success as an entrepreneur was about more than the financial statements, although he was clear that, first and foremost, a company needed to be profitable. But profit should not become an end in itself, instead it should serve a purpose: that of people and the world in which they live.
||A great legacy and a proud record|
A “Mathäus Siedle, bell founder” is first mentioned in records over 260 years ago – Horst Siedle’s great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. Despite the passing centuries and all the changes, the company remained under the ownership and management of the same family. Horst Siedle inherited a long-standing legacy – but it did not just fall into his lap when he joined the company in 1957. The employees that he would go on to lead as Chief Executive Officer taught him how to solder, make cable harnesses, assemble line rectifiers or telephones and much more. He achieved a vast amount at the Swiss subsidiary Siedle Electric which he built from a one-man operation to a flourishing company and ran for ten years. He finally became CEO of the parent company in 1970. Under his leadership, a sound but stagnating company became a fast-growing company of global renown.
Horst Siedle won many awards for his entrepreneurial activities and his commitment to Furtwangen – the Federal Cross of Merit in 1999, the Business Medal of the state of Baden-Württemberg in 2008, and in 2009 he became an honorary citizen of the city of Furtwangen.