It is with great sadness that Rational AG announced the passing of Siegfried Meister, the company founder, majority shareholder, and Chairman of the Supervisory Board, on July 28 at the age of 78 after a brief, serious illness. Walter Kurtz, Supervisory Board Member and shareholder since the founding of Rational AG in the year 2000 as the first deputy chairman, will assume temporary chairmanship of the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board, Management Board, and all employees mourn for the exceptional entrepreneur, and will continue the company in the spirit of Mr. Siegfried Meister.
When Siegfried Meister started producing innovative convection ovens in Landsberg, over 40 years ago, he had a clear goal in sight: he wanted to make the work of people who prepare hot food in professional kitchens easier. The combi-steamer was born in 1976 when he and his, at the time, small team added steam to the hot, dry air in the oven. This revolutionized the large and commercial kitchens of the world: production processes, organization, and efficiency have changed significantly since then.
All of his life, he remained true to his aim of knowing the requirements and needs of customers and offering them the maximum benefit. Meister’s guiding principle was not sales or profit; his foremost corporate objective was providing the greatest possible customer benefits. In this, he was very successful. Since 1998, he has acted as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board and in 2000 floated Rational AG on the stock exchange.
Besides his role as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, he assisted the company with his extensive experience and expertise—and all the way up to the very end, he had a set table in the company restaurant, surrounded by his employees. “The well-being of the ‘entrepreneurs in the company,’ as he viewed his employees, was very important to Mr. Meister. This makes us all the more grief-stricken about our great loss, and we are committed to continuing his lifetime’s work in his spirit,” says Dr. Peter Stadelmann, Chief Executive Officer of Rational AG.