Wolfgang Reitzle

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Person.png Wolfgang Reitzle  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Dr Wolfgang Reitzle 2012.jpg
Born7 March 1949
Neu-Ulm, Bavaria, Germany
Alma materTechnical University of Munich
SpouseNina Ruge
Member ofMunich Security Conference/Advisory Council
German manager in the automotive industry, including BMW and Ford.Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Munich Security Conference.

Wolfgang Reitzle is a German business executive. He attended the 1992, 1993 and 2012 Bilderberg meetings.

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.[1]

Between 1999 and 1 May 2002,[2] 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.[3]

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.[3] 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".[3]

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,[4] who had previously headed up Mazda.[3]

In Munich, on 3 May 2016 Reitzle was elected as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Linde AG.[5]

In January 2018 Reitzle was appointed to the supervisory board of the fashion company Bogner. He resigned this post in 2019.[6]

Wolfgang Reitzle has invested in several startups in recent years. For example, he and his wife Nina Ruge together with the billionaire investor Michael Pieper have acquired a stake in the biotech company Tomorrowlabs GmbH.[7] The company, which was founded in 2016 in Vienna by the physician Dominik Duscher and pharmacologist Dominik Thor, is based on the patent-pending HSF ("HIF strengthening factor") active ingredient, which is supposed to promote skin and hair regeneration.[8][9]

Other activities

Corporate boards

Non-profit organizations

Personal life

Reitzle has two daughters by his first marriage. In September 2001, he married television presenter Nina Ruge.


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/199221 May 199224 May 1992France
Royal Club Evian
The 40th Bilderberg. It had 121 participants.
Bilderberg/199322 April 199325 April 1993Greece
Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel
The 41st Bilderberg, held in Greece
Bilderberg/201231 May 20123 June 2012US
The 58th Bilderberg, in Chantilly, Virginia. Unusually just 4 years after an earlier Bilderberg meeting there.


  1. ""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
  2. Reitzle vanquished". Autocar. 232. Vol. (nbr4). 5 May 2002. p. 11
  3. a b c d "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
  4. https://www.forbes.com/2002/04/19/0419flint.html
  5. http://www.the-linde-group.com/en/news_and_media/press_releases/news_20160503.html
  6. https://www.handelsblatt.com/unternehmen/handel-konsumgueter/modebranche-ex-linde-chef-reitzle-gibt-vorsitz-in-bogners-aufsichtsrat-ab/25034142.html
  7. https://www.handelszeitung.ch/unternehmen/das-neue-beauty-investment-von-michael-pieper%7Caccess-date=2020-12-03
  8. https://www.handelsblatt.com/unternehmen/mittelstand/familienunternehmer/kosmetikbranche-wie-das-beauty-start-up-tomorrowlabs-den-markt-erobert/25523424.html
  9. https://kurier.at/wirtschaft/wirtschaft-von-innen/milliardenmarkt-anti-aging-start-up-aus-oesterreich-mischt-mit/400989071
  10. https://www.zeit.de/news/index%7Ctitle=Schlagzeilen, News und Newsticker
  11. https://www.lafargeholcim.com/
  12. http://www.linde.de/international/web/linde/like35lindecom.nsf/docbyalias/page_ch_personalities_reitzle
  13. 2003 Annual Report: Advisory Boards Deutsche Bank.
  14. Board of Trustees Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (KHI).
  15. Advisory Council Munich Security Conference.
  16. Board of Trustees Roland Berger Foundation.
  17. Board of Trustees Senckenberg Nature Research Society.
  18. Board of Trustees Technical University of Munich (TUM).
  19. Board of Trustees Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft.

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