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Schaeffler is a leading global high-tech company in family ownership, and is based in Herzogenaurach, Germany. Together with her son Georg F. W. Schaeffler, shareholder Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann is continuing the lifelong work of her husband Dr. Ing. h.c. Georg Schaeffler, who died in 1996.

Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann and Georg F. W. Schaeffler

As a family-owned company, the Schaeffler Group takes responsibility for achieving sound business management, safeguarding the development of the business and playing an active role in shaping the corporate culture.

In the spirit of a “family business”, the shareholders and management of the Schaeffler Group see it as their task to continue to develop the company responsibly and sustainably in the long-term.


Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann

Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann
Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann
Shareholder of the INA-Holding Schaeffler GmbH & Co. KG
Deputy Chairperson of the supervisory board of Schaeffler AG
  • Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann, as shareholder of the Schaeffler Group, is continuing the lifelong work of her husband Dr. Ing. E. h. Georg Schaeffler, who died in 1996. She was born in Prague and grew up in Vienna, where she finished high school and attended medical school at Vienna University. In 2014, Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann married Jürgen Thumann, the former President of the Federation of German Industries. Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann is Deputy Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Schaeffler AG.

    Schaeffler is a leading global high-tech company in family ownership, and is based in Herzogenaurach, Germany. The company was established by brothers Georg and Wilhelm Schaeffler, who settled and started the company in Herzogenaurach after the exodus from Silesia.

    Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann and the dedicated management team has successfully continued to develop the group of companies. The acquisition of all shares of the clutch manufacturer LuK in 1999 and the acquisition of FAG Kugelfischer Georg Schäfer AG Schweinfurt in 2001 are among the significant and groundbreaking steps the company has taken during the past few years. With the INA and FAG product brands, Schaeffler is the world’s second largest manufacturer of rolling bearings and has the widest range of products among all suppliers.

    In 2009, Schaeffler acquired a significant proportion of the shares of Continental AG, and Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann has been a member of the Supervisory Board of Continental AG since 2009.

    Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann’s special bond with the company is not only expressed by her participation in all important conferences and events. She takes a particular personal interest in employee development and compliance with high social, environmental and quality standards. The close connections between the shareholders, management and employees have proved highly effective over a long period.

    Along with her dedication to the company in supervisory boards, organizations and committees, Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann is receptive towards social concerns, which she supports in many different ways. Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann has received many honors and awards for her exceptional entrepreneurial success and outstanding achievements.

  • Supervisory board mandates

    Since 2010

    Schaeffler AG


    Since 2009

    Continental AG


    2008 - 2014

    ÖIAG – Österreichische Industrieholding AG


    2012 - 2013

    Nürnberger Lebensversicherung AG

    Chambers, associations, companies and economic institutes

    Since 2008

    Member of the Presiding Board of the Federation of German Industry (BDI)


    2007 - 2013

    Vice President (member of the board since 2003) of the German Chamber of Commerce in Austria


    2005 - 2014

    Member of the European Advisory Board of Deutsche Bank AG


    2001 - 2010

    Vice President of the Nuremberg Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the Mid-Franconian region


    1996 - 2006

    Member of the Bavarian Advisory Board of Dresdner Bank AG, Chairwoman from 2000 - 2006


    2005 - 2014

    Member of the Economic Advisory Board of Bayern LB


    Since 2009

    Member of the Advisory Board of Deutsche Deloitte


    2008 - 2014

    Member of the Advisory Board of Chinaforum Bayern e.V. (Chinese-Bavarian Forum)


    2008 - 2014

    Member of the Advisory Board of NUMOV (German Near and Middle East Association)

    Social work & culture

    Since 2012

    Member of the Board of the International Salzburg Association (ISA)


    Since 2010

    Member of the Board of the International Mozarteum Foundation


    2009 - 2014

    Member of the Board of Trustees of the Nuremberg State Theater Foundation


    2008 - 2014

    Member of the Board of the Association of Arts and Culture of the German Economy at the Federation of German Industry


    2008 - 2013

    Member of the Economic Advisory Board of the Goethe Institut


    Since 2006

    Member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for International Orchestra Projects of the Bamberg Symphoniker - Bavarian State Philharmonic Orchestra


    Since 2003

    • Member of the Board of Trustees of the Münchner Opernfestspiele e.V. (Society for the Promotion of the Munich Opera Festival)
    • Member of the Advisory Board of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum


    Since 2002

    Member of the Board of Trustees of Konzertgesellschaft München e.V. (Munich Concert Society)


    1996 - 2013

    Deputy Chairwoman of Freunde der Staatsoper Nürnberg e.V. (Friends of the Nuremberg State Opera)


    Since 1977

    Reappointment as Member of the Board of the Erlangen-Höchstadt District Association of the Baverian Red Cross

    Universities and foundations

    2007 - 2014

    Member of the Economic Advisory Board of the Chair for Industrial Management of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg


    2004 - 2007

    Member of the University Council of the Leibniz University in Hanover


    2002 - 2015

    Member of the University Council of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg


    Since 2002

    Chairwoman of the Foundation Council of the Schaeffler FAG Foundation (FAG Kugelfischer Foundation until November 2011)

    Jury membership

    Since 2010

    • Member of the Board of Trustees of "Family-owned Company of the Year" (INTES Stiftung für Familienunternehmen - INTES Foundation for Family-owned Companies)
    • Member of the Jury of the Leibniz-Ring-Hannover (Award made by the Press Club Hanover)


    Since 2009

    Member of the Jury of the Handelsblatt Hall of Fame for German family entrepreneurs

  • 2015

    Handelsblatt "Hall of Fame of Family-owned Enterprises"


    2013

    • German-Brazilian Personality of the Year
    • "Family Entrepreneur of the Year award, 2012", selected by a jury of representatives of German industry and the Handelsblatt


    2012

    "Gold medal of the District" for the Erlangen-Höchstadt district


    2011

    • "Großen Tiroler Adler" medal
    • "Personality of the Year" award presented by the ÖkoGlobe-Institut of Duisburg-Essen University


    2008

    Honorary citizen of the town of Bühl


    2007

    • Honorary citizen of the town of Taicang, China
    • Large Silver Medal with Star for Services to the Republic of Austria
    • 1st Class Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
    • Karmarsch Medal


    2006

    • Honorary citizen of the town of Herzogenaurach
    • Entry in the "Golden Book" of the Erlangen-Höchstadt district


    2005

    • Honorary Member of the Senate of the Transylvania University of Brasov, Romania
    • Honorary citizen of the town of Jeonju, Jeollabuk-Do province, Korea
    • Entry in the "Golden Book" of the town of Lahr


    2004

    "Family Entrepreneur of the Year" award " presented by the economics magazine "impulse" and the "INTES Akademie für Familienunternehmen" (INTES Academy for Family-Owned Companies)


    2003

    Bavarian Order of Merit


    2002

    Honorary citizen of the town of Höchstadt/Aisch


    2001

    • Cross of Merit with Ribbon of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
    • Medal of Honor by the Nuremberg Chamber of Commerce for the Mid-Franconian region


Georg F. W. Schaeffler

Georg F. W. Schaeffler, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Schaeffler AG and Shareholder of INA-Holding Schaeffler GmbH & Co. KG
Georg F. W. Schaeffler
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Schaeffler AG
Shareholder of INA-Holding Schaeffler GmbH & Co. KG

Georg F. W. Schaeffler is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Schaeffler AG and shareholder of the Schaeffler Group.

After finishing high school in 1984 in Herzogenaurach, Georg F. W. Schaeffler served two years in the German armed forces (lieutenant in the Air Force reserves).

From 1986 to 1990, he studied business at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and obtained the "lic. oec. HSG" degree.

Between 1990 and 1996, Georg F. W. Schaeffler worked in various functions in the Schaeffler Group, including duties in Germany and in the U.S.

In 1996, Georg F. W. Schaeffler began to study law at Duke University's School of Law in Durham, North Carolina (USA) and, in 2000, he obtained the combined degree of Juris Doctor (cum laude) and Master of Law in international and comparative law. After completing his studies, Georg F. W. Schaeffler worked for some years as a business lawyer in one of the largest law firms in the southwestern part of the United States of America.

In addition to his tasks in the Schaeffler Group, Georg F. W. Schaeffler is a member of the Supervisory Board of Continental AG and also a member of its Presiding Committee and Audit Committee.

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