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Dec 03, 2004

Helmuth Fischer

© Reuse this Full name: Helmuth Hermann Fischer

Position: MD of CBI since 1989

Main activity of the company: Manufacturing of low-voltage switchgear

Date and place of birth: September 13, 1947 in Eiterfeld, Germany

Education: Wigbertschule Huenfeld, Abitur 1966; Technical University Darmstadt, masters degree mechanical engineering 1972; Technical University Munich, masters degree industrial engineering 1974

First job: BASF, staff position in logistics consulting, 1974 to 1980

Size of first pay packet: DM36 000 a year

First job with present group: Manager manufacturing coordination, 1984 to 1989

Value of assets under your control: R250-million

Number of people under your leadership: 1 740

Management style: “Enlightened authoritarian”

Personal best achievements: World speed record in soaring over a distance of 1 000 km, winning the Barron Hilton Cup (for soaring) for South Africa against Australia

Professional best achievement: Having grown CBI substantially

Person who has had the biggest influence on your life: A friend of mine from student times

Person who has had the biggest influence on your career: Mr WE Wilckens, previous MD of CBI (then still known as Heinemann Electric)

Person you would most like to meet: Nelson Mandela

Businessperson who has impressed you most: Mr WE Wilckens

Philosophy of life: If you do something, apply yourself and do it right, or don’t do it at all

Biggest ever opportunity: Leading a South African company out of isolation to becoming a global player

Biggest ever disappointment: Having missed out on a large international acquisition opportunity

Hope for the future: That South Africa maintains political stability and that the government understands one day that there is a tremendous goodwill among whites to assist in building up the country to its full potential

Favourite reading: Everything concerning wildlife and aviation

Favourite TV programme: National Geographic and Discovery channels on DStv

Favourite food/drink: Sushi and sashimi, Lagavulin single malt whisky

Favourite music: Classics in general, Beethoven in particular

Favourite sport: Soaring, hunting, wildlife photography and filming

Car: Toyota Land Cruiser stationwagon and Land Cruiser Prado, Mitsubishi Colt bakkie

Pets: Koi fish, hundreds of antelope on a game ranch in the Kalahari which is currently developed as a retirement place and a hunting enterprise to keep an active mind busy after retirement

Miscellaneous dislikes: Skin on hot milk

Favourite other South African company: SA Breweries

Favourite foreign company: Schneider Electric

Married: Isoline Deborah Hough, October 25, 1986

Children: Desmond

Clubs: Country Club Johannesburg, Magalies Gliding Club, Lowveld Hunters Association, Endangered Wildlife Trust

Edited by: Zonika Botha
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
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