Jürgen R. Thumann is President of Business Europe, the Confederation of European business, which brings together 41 industrial and employers’ federations from 35 countries and represents Europe’s small, medium and large companies. He was appointed to that position in July 2009.
At the age of 19, after completing his apprenticeship in the wholesale and foreign trade business, Mr. Thumann took over the management of Thumann Stahl-Service Center as a partner and expanded the family business.
Later he founded Heitkamp & Thumann KG in Düsseldorf. Today this business is a group comprising small and medium-sized enterprises in the steel, metal and plastics manufacturing industry, presently employing approximately 2,300 employees in 16 locations in Europe, Asia and North America.
Mr. Thumann has gathered extensive international experience. Already in 1975, he became one of the partners and chief executive officer of Hille & Müller, a cold rolling mill with coating treatment, which, by that time, had become an internationally operating company.
In addition to his entrepreneurial activities, Mr. Thumann has always been involved in larger business issues. From 2005 to 2008 he was President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and has held the office of Vice President since January 2009. He also chairs or is a member of a number of company boards. Before taking up the presidency of BDI, he was President of the steel and metal-working industry association (WSM), a BDI member organisation.