Former KBA President Dr. Hans-Bernhard Bolza-Schünemann DiesJuly 29, 2010
“The doctor” or “HBS,” as he was affectionately called by his staff, first saw the light of day as Hans-Bernhard Schünemann on 20 May 1926 in Bremen. He was born into a family of merchants who had been engaged in the printing and publishing trade in this Hanseatic city for many generations. Following military service and English captivity in the Second World War he studied physics at the Technical University in Braunschweig, completing his degree in 1949.
In 1951 he gained a PhD in mechanical engineering at the Technical University in Stuttgart. That same year he joined Koenig & Bauer in Würzburg as a design engineer. In 1956 he was made assistant vice-president for sheetfed engineering, in 1957 deputy executive vice-president for engineering and development and in 1964 a full member of the board.
This last appointment followed his legal adoption in 1959 by Dr. Hans Bolza, the great-grandson of company founder Friedrich Koenig, following the premature death of Dr Bolza’s sons. Bernhard Schünemann thus became Hans-Bernhard Bolza-Schünemann.
In 1971, Dr. Bolza-Schünemann was appointed president of KBA, and was to remain in office for 24 years, until 1995. With the persistence he typically demonstrated in pursuit of his goals this farsighted entrepreneur, tireless inventor and inspired engineer positioned the company among the topmost players in the international printing press industry. In the process he initiated some spectacular innovations in press technology and diverse acquisitions of other press manufacturers (Albert-Frankenthal in west Germany, Maschinenfabrik Mödling in Austria, Planeta Druckmaschinenwerke in east Germany) whose roots could also be traced back to the cradle of press engineering in Würzburg.
In 1995, at the age of 69, the architect of the KBA group’s breathtaking expansion retired as president and joined the supervisory board, where he served as deputy chairman until 2006. Even in retirement Dr. Bolza-Schünemann continued to place his strategic perspectives and outstanding engineering skills at the company’s disposal, for example in the development of the 74 Karat digital offset press. On his 75th birthday in 2001 he received an award for 50 years service. Throughout his long life he never failed to impress younger executives and staff with his ideas, his expertise and his innate ability to motivate others.