Schaeffler is a leading global high-tech company predominantly 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, 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 who passed away in August 2022, the former President of the Federation of German Industries.
Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann was Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of the Schaeffler Group from 1996 until 2010 and subsequently Deputy Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Schaeffler AG from 2010 until April 2023.
Schaeffler is a leading global high-tech company predominantely 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. Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann was a member of the Supervisory Board of Continental AG from 2009 until April 2022.
She takes a particular personal interest in employee development and compliance with high social, environmental and quality standards. The traditionally close connections between the shareholders, management, and employees are part of Schaeffler’s corporate governance culture and have proved highly effective.
Along with her dedication to the company, 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.
1996 - 2010
Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of the Schaeffler Group
Supervisory Board mandates
2010 - April 2023
2009 - April 2022
2008 - 2014
ÖIAG – Österreichische Industrieholding AG
2012 - 2013
Nürnberger Lebensversicherung AG
Chambers, associations, companies and economic institutes
2009 - 2018
Member of the Advisory Board of Deutsche Deloitte
2008 - 2016
Member of the Presiding Board of the Federation of German Industry (BDI)
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)
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
2005 - 2014
Member of the Economic Advisory Board of Bayern LB
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
Social work & culture
2012 - 2018
Member of the Board of the International Salzburg Association (ISA)
Member of the Board of the International Mozarteum Foundation
2009 - 2014
Member of the Board of Trustees of the Nuremberg State Theater Foundation
2008 - 2013
Member of the Economic Advisory Board of the Goethe Institut
2003 - 2016
Member of the Advisory Board of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum
2003 - 2014
Member of the Board of Trustees of the Münchner Opernfestspiele e.V. (Society for the Promotion of the Munich Opera Festival)
2002 - 2018
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)
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
2002 - 2023
Chairwoman of the Foundation Council of the Schaeffler FAG Foundation (FAG Kugelfischer Foundation until November 2011)
2010 - 2014
Member of the Board of Trustees of "Family-owned Company of the Year" (INTES Stiftung für Familienunternehmen - INTES Foundation for Family-owned Companies)
2010 - 2015
Member of the Jury of the Leibniz-Ring-Hannover (Award made by the Press Club Hanover)
2009 - 2016
Member of the Jury of the Handelsblatt Hall of Fame for German family entrepreneurs
Honorary member of the Supervisory Board of Schaeffler AG
Appointment as "Honorary Senator" of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
- Honorary citizen of the town of Berndorf, Austria
- "Global Leadership Award" of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at the Johns Hopkins University, USA
Handelsblatt "Hall of Fame of Family-owned Enterprises"
- 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
"Gold medal of the District" for the Erlangen-Höchstadt district
- "Großen Tiroler Adler" medal
- "Personality of the Year" award presented by the ÖkoGlobe-Institut of Duisburg-Essen University
Honorary citizen of the town of Bühl
- 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
- Honorary citizen of the town of Herzogenaurach
- Entry in the "Golden Book" of the Erlangen-Höchstadt district
- 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
"Family Entrepreneur of the Year" award " presented by the economics magazine "impulse" and the "INTES Akademie für Familienunternehmen" (INTES Academy for Family-Owned Companies)
Bavarian Order of Merit
Honorary citizen of the town of Höchstadt/Aisch
- 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 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.