75 years of Hilti: Ready for the future

Schaan (FL), July 4, 2016 – What began 75 years ago with the production of engine components in Schaan, has since become a renowned global corporation with over 23,000 employees in more than 120 countries. Hilti is a success story characterized by constant renewal and change but also by stability and continuity. In this anniversary year, the company feels younger and more dynamic than ever.

Back in 1941, a small workshop in Schaan, Liechtenstein, was the cradle of today’s corporation. In the beginning, brothers Martin (1915-1997) and Eugen Hilti (1911-1964) manufactured engine components, cigarette lighters and kitchen blenders. By moving into the production of high-velocity fastening tools in 1948, the young company established the basis for today’s product portfolio. At the same time, Hilti’s direct sales approach created customer proximity and hence a significant edge on the market. This continues to be one of the decisive success factors of the company. In 1960, Hilti Maschinenbau OHG was converted into a corporation and the famous red tool case soon became a symbol for first-class product quality, innovation and service excellence for construction professionals.

Ever since, the company has focused on its core business. Instead of aiming at mere size and seeking to maximize short-term profit, Hilti has always banked on sustainable value creation and financial strength. This philosophy was mainly influenced by Prof. Dr. h.c. Martin Hilti, co-founder and long-standing Chairman of Hilti, who remained active in the company well into his old age. His son, Michael Hilti, who became CEO in 1990 and subsequently served as Chairman of the Board for 13 years, is still a member of the Board of Directors, Trustee of the Martin Hilti Family Trust and member of the Foundation Board of the Hilti Foundation. As early as 1980, the members of the Hilti family had decided to waive their inheritance and founded a family trust with the aim of securing the existence and independence of the company.

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People have always been at the heart of Hilti. At an early stage already, the company introduced a unified corporate culture which aligns individual development goals with the ones of the company. The commitment to its corporate culture along with the clear message that it is valid for all employees has earned the company numerous awards and top rankings in global employer reviews.
Today, Hilti stands on a solid footing. Thus, Michael Hilti is positive looking ahead: “We are well positioned at all levels to carry our success into the future. We are close to our customers, highly innovative and we have a first-class offering. Our strategy focuses on sustainable value generation and we have a sound ownership structure. But most of all, we have a highly professional global team that devotes all its energy to ensure the company’s success.”

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