Born in Offenau in 1930, he first trained as a commercial clerk at a brokerage house in Hamburg. After holding management positions in the Unilever Group and at Edeka headquarters, he joined Beiersdorf in 1971. He initially held the post of Marketing and Sales Manager for personal care products and plasters in Germany, before taking over management of the cosmed division in 1973 after the introduction of the divisional structure. An alternate member of the Executive Board since 1974, he was appointed a full member a year later. In 1988, he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, and from 1989 to 1994, he was Chairman of the Executive Board. He was a member of the Supervisory Board of Beiersdorf AG from 1994 until 2004.