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Clemens Tönnies is a business entrepreneur and sports official from Germany. He owns the Zur-Mühlen-Group and partly the Tönnies-Lebensmittel-Group. He also chairs the supervisory board of the football club FC Schalke 04. He lives in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, is married for the second time and is the father of two children.
Clemens Tönnies was born on May 27, 1957 in Rheda in the North Rhine-Westphalian district of Gütersloh. He comes from a rather modest background. His father worked as a butcher and Clemens grew up as one of six siblings (two brothers and four sisters). After finishing school, he completed vocational training as a meat technician and businessman. From an early age he showed an interest in economic relationships and profitable management. The relationship with his brother Bernd played a major role in this. In 1971 he founded a meat and sausage wholesaler in Rheda. Clemens got into the business and together they established B. & C. Tönnies Fleischwerk GmbH & Co. KG on the market.
With clever and prudent management, Bernd and Clemens managed to make the joint company one of the largest meat producers on the continent. One reason for the success was the division of tasks and the hierarchical order that prevailed between the brothers and that Bernd saw as the head of the company. Since the company was growing rapidly and the capacities of the location in the home town were no longer sufficient, the company moved to neighboring Herzebrock. In 1977, the production facilities there were no longer sufficient and expansions had to be made. Due to the continued success and constant expansion, the brothers decided in 1992 to move both the company headquarters and the production facility to Rheda-Wiedenbrück. The company continued to grow by cleverly buying up other competitors. Today the company is one of the largest slaughterhouses in Germany. Since the death of his brother in 1994, Clemens Tönnies has been the sole managing director. Today the company has more than 8000 employees and 25 foreign offices. It has an export share of 50%. The annual turnover is well over 4 billion euros.
In terms of the number of pig slaughters, the company is not only one of the largest in Germany, it also ranks first in Germany with more than 16 million slaughters. In April 2019, Clemens Tönnies ranked 1349th on the Forbes list of the wealthiest people in the world and 85th on the list of the richest Germans. His economic success has also helped him gain recognition and trust in other areas. He has been a member of the Schalke 04 supervisory board since 1994. In 2001 he became Chairman of the Supervisory Board, which he is to this day. Through his work, he is jointly responsible for the success of the football club. Schalke 04 has played in the 1st Bundesliga without interruption since he became a member of the supervisory board. Schalke managed to finish runners-up five times. In 1997 Schalke 04 won the UEFA Cup. The DFB Cup was won three times with Clemens Tönnies on the supervisory board (2001, 2002, 20011).
“I go through life awake.”, “The important thing for the company I speak for is that we are fully operational. The rules in the contracts are such that we can act and do the right thing for the company. And we always follow the rules.”
“I am committed to the company and the employees and I do my job in a way that is the right thing to do to develop the company. That is my job, also for the shareholders. And I will continue to do that.”
tips for success
For Clemens Tönnies, a healthy sense of reality is a guarantee of success. He does not build castles in the air and lives in cloud cuckoo land, but calculates and calculates in order to be successful. It is very important for him to have both feet on the ground and to actively perceive the world that surrounds him. He is down to earth and well aware of his homeland and origins. For him, treating everyone with respect is one of the most important values by which he lives and acts.