After a short, serious illness Rudolf Miele has died at the age of 74 in his hometown of Gütersloh, Germany. Mr. Miele, the grandson of Carl Miele, founder of German appliance maker Miele, was born on Nov. 4, 1929. He entered the company in 1953 and served as a managing partner since 1960.
Mr. Miele was active in numerous offices and honorary posts. For example, he served as chairman of the Employers' Association for the Gütersloh area, as Honorary Member of the German Chamber of Commerce in Austria, as vice president of the East Westphalian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bielefeld, and as vice president of the North Rhine-Westphalian Employers' Association. Most recently, he was a member of the Supervisory Board of the medical instrument manufacturing company B. Braun Melsungen AG, Melsungen, on the Administrative Board of the Weserbergland Klinik hospital, Höxter, on the Advisory Board of the Allianz insurance company, Cologne, and on the Administrative Board of the Sparkasse Bank, Gütersloh. He was a Member of the Kuratorium DRK (German Red Cross), Bonn, as well as a Member of The Development Association of Bielefeld University. Mr. Miele was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, First Class, by the German Federal Republic and he was declared an Honorary Citizen of the town of Gütersloh.
Referring to Miele's U.S. business operation, Mr. Miele said in his last visit to the country in July 2002,"“Miele has always believed in the U.S. market," calling the division the "backbone" of the company’s growth in foreign sales. He added, "And we won’t accept growth at any price -- the company seeks controlled growth that is organic, without compromising our brand integrity." Rudolf Miele watched the Western market with "great personal interest" and played a key role in the company's push to begin distribution in the U.S. and Canada in 1985.
In August 2004, in the annual business report, Mr. Miele stated the family-owned company would remain true to the company philosophy of "Forever better" under the new, five-strong members of the senior management team. Since the company was founded back in 1899, Miele & Cie. has been owned and run by the two families Miele and Zinkann. The senior management team at Miele & Cie. now consists of Horst Schübel, responsible for finance and controlling, and administration, Dr. Eduard Sailer, responsible for technology, Dr. Reto Bazzi, the head of marketing and sales, Dr. Markus Miele, son of the late Rudolf Miele, and Dr. Reinhard Zinkann, both fourth-generation members of the founders' families.
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