Top Manager Dr. Eberhard Veit
“If you don’t set an example, no one will take you seriously”
Eberhard Veit carried over this kind of thinking and acting from his studies into his management posts. First, he was development manager at the model railway builder Märklin, then head of development at the cleaning device manufacturer Kärcher. In 1997, he became executive chairman of product and technology management at the Festo group, which rose during his tenure to be a world leader in pneumatic and automation technology – a so-called hidden champion. This term is used to refer to small and medium-sized businesses that are relatively unknown, yet which nonetheless lead the market in their industry or sector.
Already with his dissertation on “Robotic Vacuum Cleaners for the Household” Eberhard Veit showed his extraordinary vision: “In those days the technology and the idea were too far ahead of their time,” he says. Since then, robotic vacuum cleaners have become a standard product. The time has to be ripe. It often depends on the right market-entry point, he says, and offers the advice: “Don’t lose heart – keep going.” For his doctoral thesis Veit was awarded the German Innovation Prize for Household Technology in 2000.
This attitude – setting an example, remaining on the same level as his employees – is the key to his success. When employees are motivated, you can turn their attention to the future, e.g. towards digitization, to which Eberhard Veit has dedicated himself for years – as a consultant to the federal government as well as in learning factories across the world, in Germany and even in his Schwabian hometown of Göppingen. It is important to him that things are moving forward: “Don’t stand around chatting, do something!” and “At the very least we have to show that wherever we’re more expensive, we’re worth it!”
Dr. Eberhard Veit
Doctorate Ecotrophology 1999