The more than 1,000 employees of the international management consultancy Horváth mourn the loss of their company founder and Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board Péter Horváth. "His sudden death hits us completely unexpectedly and is very painful for all of us," says CEO Helmut Ahr. "With Péter Horváth, we are not only losing a visionary and a passionate entrepreneurial personality, but also a mentor who always managed to fascinate those around him with his energy and enthusiasm."
Péter Horváth founded the management consultancy Horváth in 1981 and is considered a pioneer of Controlling in German-speaking countries. From 1989 to 2001, Péter Horváth was CEO of the consultancy. In 2001, he became Chairman of the Supervisory Board, and from 2014 to the end of 2021 he was Deputy Chairman. At the turn of the year, the founder of what is now Germany's fourth-largest management consultancy resigned from this position at his own request and was appointed Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board. He explained his retirement on the occasion of his birthday on February 3, 2022, saying: "The 85th birthday is a good occasion to resign from a position in time for succession planning."
"After retiring as an active member of the Supervisory Board, Péter Horváth wanted to use his time more for personal projects and private interests. The fact that he was no longer given this time fills us all with very great sadness. Péter Horváth combined science, entrepreneurship and cultural interests in one person like no other," says Horváth CEO Helmut Ahr.
An eventful life marked by science and entrepreneurship
Péter Horváth's life was characterized by courageous decisions, contagious passion, entrepreneurial spirit and sporting ambition. Born in Hungary, he fled to Austria and then to Germany in 1956 in the course of the revolution. In 1973, Péter Horváth established the first Chair of Controlling in Germany at Darmstadt Technical University. The modern understanding of Controlling in corporate practice has been significantly influenced by Péter Horváth. He is regarded as the founder of this economic discipline in German-speaking countries, who knew how to combine science and teaching with corporate practice. His standard work "Controlling", published in 1979, is now in its 14th edition and exists in five languages. In total, Péter Horváth wrote more than 40 specialist books, countless specialist articles and was co-editor of the German magazines „Controlling“, „Wissenschaftsmanagement“ and „Familienunternehmen und Strategie“.
From 1981 to 2003, Péter Horváth taught as a professor at the University of Stuttgart, and a total of 85 doctoral students received their doctorate from him. In 1982, he co-founded the "Förderkreis Betriebswirtschaft an der Universität Stuttgart e.V.," whose purpose was, among other things, to promote the networking of science and practice. Péter Horváth also enjoyed a high international reputation. He held visiting professorships at international universities such as New York, Vienna, São Paulo and Shanghai. He received honorary doctorates from several universities for his scientific achievements. Péter Horváth also had high goals in sports: even at the age of 75, he ran the New York City Marathon in 2012, for the 22nd time.
Life's work of the unique personality Péter Horváth continues to have an impact
– Great commitment to promoting young talent
In 2001, Péter Horváth founded the non-profit research institute IPRI, the International Performance Research Institute, and was personally committed to promoting art, science and international understanding, holding various honorary posts and having his own foundation. The Péter Horváth Foundation, founded in 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. Among other things, Péter Horváth was Honorary Chairman of the Board of the Business Club of the House of Literature Stuttgart and as a Board Member of the Adolf Hölzel Foundation. He supported the “Festspielhaus” in Baden-Baden and other art and cultural projects in Hungary and Germany. In addition, Péter Horváth supported the "Center of Family Business" at the Corvinus University in Budapest and the Péter Horváth Endowed Professorship for Business Information Management at the University of Ulm, as well as an annual conference of all universities on the Danube for the exchange of experience in scientific management.
Bernd Gaiser, Chairman of the Horváth Supervisory Board, on the surprising death of his longtime mentor and companion: "For Péter Horváth, it was the future that counted, not the past. The most innovative idea should prevail, not hierarchy. And quality mattered to him, even in the details. With this attitude, he inspired generations of students, established a successful company, and made many friends. His vision will be continued with his impressive life's work."
Photo for free editorial use (Image copyright: Horváth AG):
Péter Horváth's inspiring career is also portrayed in this biographical short film produced on the occasion of his 80th birthday (available in German only):