Péter Horváth (February 3, 1937 † June 4, 2022) was the founder of our management consulting company and expanded it into an internationally successful company. However, his life’s work includes so much more. With a pioneering spirit, passion and commitment, he shaped science, business and culture – across national borders. His unique spirit continues to inspire us and remains the core of our corporate culture.
In German-speaking countries, Professor Péter Horváth is regarded as the “Controlling Pope” and founder of this economic discipline, who knew how to combine research and teaching with business practice. His standard work “Controlling,” published in 1979, has been published in 14 editions and five languages. A total of 85 PhD students received a doctorate from Péter Horváth, who taught at the University of Stuttgart from 1981 to 2003. He also enjoyed an excellent reputation internationally as a professor of controlling, received guest professorships in New York, São Paulo and Shanghai, and received various honorary doctorates.
In 1981, Péter Horváth and two partners founded a management consulting company to test scientific findings and models in practice. With his passion, his entrepreneurial vision and his instinct for talent, he made the former start-up one of the most successful management consulting companies in Germany with over 1,200 employees. From 1989 to 2001, Péter Horváth was the Managing Director of Horváth & Partners GmbH and, in 2001, he moved to the Supervisory Board. At the end of 2021, Péter Horváth resigned from his active position at his own request and was appointed Honorary Chair of the Supervisory Board.
Péter Horváth’s life was marked by courage and achievement, change and opportunities. Born in Hungary, Péter Horváth fled to Austria and on to Germany in 1956 in the wake of the uprising. He studied mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University, then worked at Siemens in Munich, where he completed a second degree in Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technical University of Munich, where he obtained his doctorate in 1970 and completed his post-doctoral work in 1973. In the same year, Péter Horváth was appointed to the TU Darmstadt to set up the first Chair of Controlling in Germany.
His motivation was to create the opportunities for young talents that he himself had to work so hard to obtain. Whether in an academic, professional, or social context, Péter Horváth was keen to help people develop their skills in the best possible way.
In 2001, he founded the non-profit International Performance Research Institute (IPRI) to promote science and international understanding. The Péter Horváth Foundation, which has been active since 2002, supports young artists at the Stuttgart University of Music with scholarships, and awards an annual prize for sustainability projects in business (Green Controlling Award) as well as a dissertation prize. In addition, Péter Horváth was involved in various art and cultural projects in Hungary and Germany, for example, by sponsoring the “Festspielhaus” in Baden-Baden, Germany. Péter Horváth was also an inspiration in athletics: At the age of 75, he ran the New York City Marathon in 2012 – for the 22nd time.
Péter Horváth will always be an inspiration and role model for us – as a controlling visionary, innovator and leader. In addition to his work as an entrepreneur and scientist, he was a dedicated sponsor of art and culture, especially when it came to young talent. We will honor Péter Horváth with his unique spirit that shaped our company, and pursue his entrepreneurial vision.
Péter set standards in everything he did — not only for our company, but for science, culture, and the support of talented individuals across Europe. His boundless passion and great sense of humor have shaped our Horváth culture. His spirit lives on through the work we do.