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24 Sep

WTH head change: handshake plaque, team spirit and blue sky

The "Baton" is an Elephant

Every year, Walter Thieme (on the lectern on the left) has almost six thousand tons of products picked up by seagoing vessels from producers and brought to customers. So it was a matter of course for him that he wanted to hand over his company to his son Gero (on the right at the lectern) on a ship. The celebration took place on the Stader museum ship MS Greundiek, shown in the background. - Photo: Beatrix Krone, Schattke

(mud) –  On the last day of August, WTH company founder Walter Thieme handed over the management of the company to Gero Thieme with a really good symbol. He presented his son with the artistically designed image of an elephant. Thieme Senior had come up with something special for the change in the executive chair: He invited more than sixty employees, companions, business friends and family to a trip on the Elbe on the Stade-based museum ship "MS Greundiek" for several hours.

Outside, high in the deep blue sky, there were only a few feathery white summer clouds. The sun shone so powerfully as if it could undo the gray weather of the previous days. On this day it was felt and seen as pure summer; the region around the ship presented itself as the most beautiful place on earth. - The WTH guests went on board in Stadersand. Corona-compliant, of course: cured, vaccinated or tested.

Inside below deck of the MS Greundiek, Walter Thieme stepped to the lectern. Behind him was a meter-sized poster that showed exactly the coaster in whose belly the guests had just taken their seats. In front of him, Thieme not only had valuable thank-you plaques, but also four bronze sculptures by Kerstin Stark, a team sculpture - and the elephant from the artist's hand that he will later hand over symbolically "as a baton".

The choice of the maritime venue for the handover of the baton was no coincidence for Walter Thieme: As head of the company, he had almost six thousand tons of products picked up by producers and brought to customers by seagoing vessels, among other things. The connection to seagoing ships is there.

After Walter Thieme had thanked the employees and everyone present for the successful WTH years, he took up the elephant to explain to his son the importance of the animal for his future: The elephant embodies the attributes that are in the Management are indispensable: stability, trunk "to be able to stick your nose in everywhere", big ears to hear everything, teeth to bite through, a thick skin to keep going and on top of that a mighty broad hump to end all the responsibility to be able to carry.

"I am happy and proud that I am allowed to continue our family business", Gero Thieme assured his father and the guests. In addition to the joy, he was also aware of the time in which he would take the 'wheel' - and mentioned the keyword pandemic. However, every crisis also contains an opportunity, emphasized the new WTH managing director

Gero Thieme summed up his personal motives for taking over the management in these words: “I was fascinated by the thing with additives and fillers. I was able to quickly find out that 'plastic is not just plastic'. Imagine a world without plastic! "  

And then the young new head of the company addressed his employees directly: “Of course, I can only go my way with you as a team. We are currently in a comfortable situation because you and my father did a good job. - We will now jointly harvest the fruits that were carefully sown beforehand ".