A success story

For 20 years, Dr. Bertram Kandziora shaped STIHL’s fate in the roles of Executive Board member for Manufacturing and Materials, Executive Board spokesperson, and, most of all, as Chairman of the Executive Board. His era at the company came to an end on January 31, 2022. Time for a new chapter.

Dr. Kandziora, what are you looking forward to in your time after STIHL?

Dr. Bertram Kandziora Less of a packed schedule and more time, basically. I plan to use the time for things like more physical activity, going for bike and hiking trips, or vacationing more with my wife. Although then I won’t actually have any vacation time anymore (smiles).

A lot of people know your hobbies include sailing and flying. Where do you think you’ll spend more time, in the air or on the water?

Kandziora I’ll definitely be taking off and landing in a plane more often than I take out a sailboat or bring it back in. But in terms of time spent, that would be on the water. A one-week sailing trip means about 150 hours on the water. For a private pilot, that would certainly be a lot of hours spent in the air, even over an entire year.


German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder visits Waiblingen for the dedication of the development center.


Confetti rains down amid cheers at the dedication celebration in Qingdao.


A trip to India kicks off with a colorful and warm welcome.


Local customs often play a big part in official visits, especially in Asia – just like at the dedication of the ZAMA plant in the Philippines.


Dr. Bertram Kandziora trades in his suit and tie for personal protective equipment (PPE) for the company’s annual trip to the forest.


The dedication of the new development center and production logistics at Plant 2 with Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann.


Thumbs up – and up, up, and away! Dr. Bertram Kandziora has made his passion for flying a hobby.


During visits by politicians, other companies, and pop stars alike – such as Thomas D of the German hip-hop group Die Fantastischen Vier – a little fun is always welcome.


A longstanding team takes one last trip together: in Brazil with Hans Peter Stihl last November.

Where will you turn for intellectual challenge after you retire?

Kandziora I’ll get some of that from preparing for and going on sailing trips, and especially from flying. I’m planning to get my instrument flight license, in addition to my pilot license for visual flight. It’s quite a process and will involve a lot of studying. Friedrich Merz, who was a member of the STIHL Advisory Board until recently and is a pilot himself, once told me that when it comes to flying, this is where you really start to feel free, since it means you can fly even in clouds where you can’t see. I’d also like to learn Spanish, since my wife and I enjoy vacationing in Spain. I’m sure I’ll have some other ideas along the way, too.

What will you miss?

Kandziora The nicest workday of the year: the trip to the forest with shareholders, the Executive Board, and many other colleagues. Being able to try out the latest STIHL products yourself and compare them to competing products is half the fun. And then having a lunch of traditional meatloaf, potato salad, and pickles eaten at picnic tables in the equipment hall of the forestry center in Eselshalden is the other half. It’s always a fun day.

»One of STIHL’s core precepts is that everyone who works for or with STIHL has the ability to develop positively.«

Dr. Bertram Kandziora

How would you like to be remembered, and for what?

Kandziora As a person. As someone who has always valued people. One of STIHL’s core precepts is that everyone who works for or with STIHL has the ability to develop positively. That includes our customers, dealers, and most especially our employees and their families. I stand for that, too.

Thank you for talking to us, Dr. Kandziora.
We wish you all the best for the future!