Norbert Reithofer

Norbert Reithofer (born 29 May 1956 in Penzberg, West Germany) is a businessman and former chairman of the board of management (CEO) of BMW. He currently serves as chairman of the supervisory board.[1]

Reithofer (left) with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Penny Pritzker and Norbert Reithofer, 2013

Early life and educationEdit

After finishing his Fachabitur, Reithofer graduated in mechanical engineering at the Munich University of Applied Sciences in Munich. He then moved on to the Technical University Munich to study Engineering and Business Administration. After graduation, he became Research Assistant at the university at the Institute for Machine Tools and Business Administration of Joachim Milberg, under whom he gained his Doctorate.[2]


In 1987, Reithofer joined BMW as head of maintenance planning. From 1991 to 1994 he was Director of the Body in White Production Division. From 1994 to 1997 Reithofer then became Technical Director of BMW South Africa. From 1997 to 2000, Reithofer was President BMW Manufacturing Corporation (USA), based in Spartanburg, South Carolina.[3]

In March 2000, Reithofer returned to Munich to join the BMW Board of Management, responsible for production. In 2002, Reithofer and Development Chief Burkhard Goeschel halved the standard BMW time it took to reach full production of the new generation E90 3 Series, from six months to three.[4] On 1 September 2006 he succeeded Helmut Panke as chairman of the board and CEO of BMW.[5]

Reithofer stepped down early in May 2015 and was replaced by Harald Krüger; instead, he moved to the non-executive role of chairman of the supervisory board.[6] At the time, critics held the move would go against general corporate governance practice as there was no cooling-off period between the two roles.[7]

Other activitiesEdit

Corporate boardsEdit

  • Siemens, Member of the Supervisory Board (since 2015)[8]
  • Henkel, Member of the Shareholders‘ Committee (since 2011)[9]
  • Allianz, Member of Joint Advisory Council (since 2007)

Non-profit organizationsEdit

Awards and honoursEdit


  1. ^ Business Profile Business Week
  2. ^ "CV". BMW Group Archive. Retrieved 23 July 2011.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Chairman Profile Archived 2012-03-28 at the Wayback Machine BMW Group
  4. ^ "A Role Model For The Team Player". Business Week. 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2008-05-13.
  5. ^ Dr. Norbert Reithofer to Succeed Helmut Panke as BMW Chairman BMW News
  6. ^ Andreas Cremer (December 9, 2014), BMW CEO Reithofer to step down early in 2015 Reuters.
  7. ^ Harro ten Wolde (May 9, 2015), ISS recommends BMW shareholders vote against Reithofer appointment: FAS Reuters.
  8. ^ Supervisory Board Siemens.
  9. ^ Shareholders‘ Committee Henkel.
  10. ^ Board of Trustees Eberhard von Kuenheim Foundation.
  11. ^ Senate, as of February 2019 Max Planck Society.
  12. ^ "Bundesminister Bartenstein überreicht hohe Auszeichnungen an BMW Top-Manager" (in German). Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft, Familie und Jugend. 2005-06-29. Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  13. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (PDF) (in German). p. 1708. Retrieved November 2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  14. ^ Verdienstorden für verdiente Bayern. In: Mainpost, 29 July 2010, retrieved 30 July 2010
  15. ^ "BMW-Chef Norbert Reithofer Ritter der Ehrenlegion" (in German). French Embassy. 2012-03-30. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2012-03-31.

External linksEdit