We have received the sad news that Palfinger founder Hubert Palfinger senior died on Sunday 19th January following a serious illness. He was 77.
Born in Grieskirchen (upper Austria) in April 1942, Palfinger signed up as an apprenticeship machine fitter, completing his Höhere Technische Lehranstalt (HTL) degree in 1964. He then joined his father Richard in the metalworking and repair workshop which he had set up in 1932 for agricultural trailers, tippers and vehicle bodies. The company had 12 employees at the time. In 1959, Palfinger built its first crane, and designed its first loader crane in 1964 when Hubert Palfinger took over the family business. He began series production of loader cranes in 1968. The company weathered a number of global economic crisis, restructuring and reinventing the business in order to survive and grow. It went public in 1999 but retained control with a majority holding. The family, including his wife Josephine, two sons and a private foundation still hold a majority stake in the business, with his sons, Hubert junior and Hannes, both sitting on the supervisory board.
He stepped down from his operational role in the company in 2008, but remained a board member until 2011. It also gave him time to focus on his other company, Hubert Palfinger Technologies, which specialises in marine related activities, including the maintenance of ship hulls, and won the prestigious Energy Globe World Award last November.
A statement from the company said: “With the passing of Hubert Palfinger Sr, Palfinger has lost an extraordinary person and a visionary entrepreneur who has developed the group into a global corporation employing around 12,000 people. Making people a top priority is an integral part of the corporate culture, and it was Hubert Palfinger who laid the foundation for that philosophy and played a key role in shaping its implementation. For that, Palfinger pays tribute to its founder, to whom the company owes an enormous debt of gratitude.”