The senior manager at the helm is the longest serving employee
He reached retirement age many years ago. But he wasn’t interested. “An entrepreneur remains an entrepreneur, until the very end,” says Dietmar Harting. Not even the 50 years of service he recorded in 2017 gave cause to stop. Now the senior manager at the helm of the HARTING Technology Group has a quite extraordinary event to celebrate: his golden anniversary “plus”. With 55 years of hard work behind him, he beats all other long-serving employees of the family business.
It is truly an era that has seen this German SME rise up to become an international technology titan. And no one has made a greater mark or done more strategically or technologically to power this epoch than Dietmar Harting, who stepped up in 1967 after graduating from business school to take responsibility for the company, initially with his mother, later with his brother (who died at early age), and since 1987 with his wife Margrit. With barely 1,000 employees and annual sales of 29 million marks, HARTING back in those days was one of the smaller players in the technology sector. A good ten years after joining, Dietmar Harting took the decision to expand internationally (“to this day, my most important decision”), embarking on a journey that set the course to leadership in the key world markets. The first foreign subsidiary was founded in France in 1979.
By the time he handed over operational responsibility in 2015 to his son Philip (CEO) and Maresa Harting-Hertz (Finance, Purchasing and Facility Management Director), HARTING ranked as an industry leader. Naturally, Dietmar Harting did not sit back and take things easy. His regular place of work remains his office at the company headquarters in Espelkamp. Not even the day of his special anniversary was spent at home in his armchair. He takes an avid interest and reads everything concerning the industry, developments in technology and the standards system, and he is rarely inclined to put his reading aside – except for a game of Scrabble with wife Margrit. Even that is played with a passion. And that is just how he has steered not only the course of his own business, but also the work and the development of international standards organizations, technology and business associations, in roles such as President of the Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. (DIN), at the Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V. (ZVEI), as Deputy Chair of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Messe AG, and as a member of the technology and research councils set up by Federal Chancellors Gerhard Schröder and Angela Merkel. Awards and honors were heaped upon him for his outstanding commitment, among them the German Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class, an honorary doctorate from the Leibniz University Hanover and the Erich Gutenberg Prize.
The city of Espelkamp made him an honorary citizen. At company headquarters, it was Dietmar Harting, once active in the local handball association, supporter of sports clubs and teams, who financed the construction and modernization of sports facilities. This is the way this entrepreneur has for decades combined cosmopolitan enterprise and an active commitment to his home base.