Famous German Business People

Find out more about the greatest German Business People, including Oskar Schindler, Friedrich Engels, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, Adolf Dassler and Otto Frank.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite German Business People

 1 
Oskar Schindler
(Industrialist)

Oskar Schindler
5
Birthdate: April 28, 1908
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Svitavy, Czechia
Died: October 9, 1974

Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist who displayed extraordinary dedication and courage to save the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. Oskar Schindler's act is viewed by many as the kind of act that restores faith in humanity.  His inspirational and heart-warming story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film titled Schindler's List.

 2 
Karl Lagerfeld
(Famous as the Creative Director of the French Fashion House 'Chanel')

Karl Lagerfeld
4
Birthdate: September 10, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: February 19, 2019
German fashion magnate Karl Lagerfeld, son of businessman Otto Lagerfeld, had served as the creative director of Chanel and Fendi. He was also a talented photographer and caricaturist, and had a penchant for collecting books. He was known for his signature sunglasses, white hair, fingerless gloves, and detachable collars.  

 3 
Otto Frank
(Father of Anne Frank)

Otto Frank
4
Birthdate: May 12, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Province of Hesse-Nassau
Died: August 19, 1980
Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, published her journal, detailing her experience during the Holocaust, as The Diary of a Young Girl, after her death. Otto was the only person in his family to survive the Holocaust. A former banker, he had also served in the German army.
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 4 
Adolf Dassler
(Founder of Adidas)

Adolf Dassler
4
Birthdate: November 3, 1900
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Herzogenaurach, Germany
Died: September 6, 1978

Adolf Dassler was a German cobbler-turned-entrepreneur who established the German sportswear company Adidas. His older brother, Rudolf Dassler, established Puma. The two brothers initially operated the Dassler Brothers Sports Shoe Factory. Adolf was a pioneer in designing athletic shoes and in selling them through endorsements from athletes.

 5 
Ferdinand Porsche
(Founder of Porsche Automobile Company)

Ferdinand Porsche
4
Birthdate: September 3, 1875
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: ratislavice nad Nisou, Liberec, Czechia
Died: January 30, 1951

Ferdinand Porsche was an Austrian-German automotive engineer. He is credited with founding one of the most popular car companies in the world, Porsche AG. He is also credited with creating the Lohner-Porsche mixed hybrid, the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle. During World War II, Porsche was a prominent contributor to the German war effort.

 6 
Hugo Boss
(Fashion Designer, Entrepreneur)

Hugo Boss
5
Birthdate: July 8, 1885
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Metzingen, Germany
Died: August 9, 1948

Hugo Boss was a German businessman and fashion designer. He is credited with founding one of the most popular fashion houses in the world, Hugo Boss AG. Apart from maintaining his business endeavors, Hugo Boss was also a member of the Nazi Party and remained loyal to the ideology of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.

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 7 
Harald Quandt
(Industrialist, the son of industrialist Günther Quandt and Magda Behrend Rietschel)

Harald Quandt
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1921
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany
Died: September 22, 1967

Harald Quandt was a German industrialist who ran the industrial empire which he inherited from his father Günther Quandt. The family continues to own a stake in the popular luxury car manufacturer BMW. The family's previously unknown association with Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime was made public in 2007 by the award-winning documentary movie, The Silence of the Quandts.

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Mayer Amschel Rothschild
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1744
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: September 19, 1812
The Founding Father of International Finance, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, started what is known as the Rothschild dynasty, which shaped the trajectory of banking and finance in Europe. He had started off as a rare coins dealer and later expanded his banking business through his five sons.

 9 
Kim Dotcom
(The Founder and Former CEO of the Now-Defunct File Hosting Service "Megaupload")

Kim Dotcom
4
Birthdate: January 21, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kiel, Germany

Kim Dotcom is a German-Finnish internet entrepreneur and political activist. He first gained fame in the 1990s as an internet entrepreneur. He is the founder of the now-defunct file hosting service Megaupload. He is a controversial person and was once convicted on charges of computer fraud. He loves music and has released one album and a few singles. 

 10 
Rudolf Dassler
(Founder of Puma)

Rudolf Dassler
4
Birthdate: March 26, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Herzogenaurach, Germany
Died: October 27, 1974
The rivalry between German shoemaker Rudolf Dassler and his brother, Adolf Dassler, led to the creation of two of the most popular shoe brands of the world. While Rudolf and Adolf were initially partners in their shoe business, a feud made Rudolf create Puma, while Adolf formed Adidas.

 11 
Özlem Türeci
(Physician, Scientist)

Özlem Türeci
1
Birthdate: March 6, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lastrup, West Germany

 12 
Corinna Schumacher
(Michael Schumacher's Wife)

Corinna Schumacher
4
Birthdate: March 2, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halver
Wife of F-1 legend Michael Schumacher, Corinna Schumacher has only rarely been seen at public events, the latest being in 2020, when she received an award on behalf of Michael, who remains hospitalized after a 2013 skiing accident. She is an avid horseback rider and an animal rights activist.

Nathan Meyer Rothschild
3
Birthdate: September 16, 1777
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Free City of Frankfurt Frankfurt, Holy Roman Empire
Died: July 28, 1836

Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia
4
Birthdate: June 10, 1976
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bremen, Germany

 15 
Susanne Klatten
(Businesswoman)

Susanne Klatten
3
Birthdate: April 28, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bad Homburg, Germany

Susanne Klatten is a German businesswoman and billionaire heiress. The daughter of Herbert Werner Quandt, who is credited to have saved BMW from near bankruptcy, Klatten inherited her father's 50.1% stake in chemicals and pharmaceutical manufacturer Altana after his death. According to Forbes magazine, Klatten is the richest woman in Germany.

 16 
Hjalmar Schacht
(Reichsminister of Economics (1934-37))

Hjalmar Schacht
3
Birthdate: January 22, 1877
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tinglev, Denmark
Died: June 3, 1970

German banker Hjalmar Schacht was appreciated for his role in saving the Weimar Republic from inflation and later served as the Reichsminister of Economics under Adolf Hitler. Following as assassination attempt on Hitler, her was imprisoned, but was later freed and then set up his own bank in Düsseldorf.

Louis Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia
3
Birthdate: November 9, 1907
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marmorpalais, Potsdam, Germany
Died: September 26, 1994

 18 
Theo Albrecht
(Entrepreneur)

Theo Albrecht
3
Birthdate: March 28, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Essen
Died: July 24, 2010

 19 
Heinrich Schliemann
(Archaeologist)

Heinrich Schliemann
3
Birthdate: January 6, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Neubukow, Germany
Died: December 26, 1890

German businessman Heinrich Schliemann didn’t let his poverty or lack of education hinder his growth and learned several languages moving from place to place for trade. A pioneer in the field of archaeology, he is now remembered as the man who discovered Troy in his bid to unearth “Priam's Treasure."

 20 

Christine Kaufmann
3
Birthdate: January 11, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mitterberg-Sankt Martin, Austria
Died: March 28, 2017

German-Austrian actress, author, and businesswoman Christine Kaufmann gained attention of post-war German movie audiences with her performances in films like Rosen-Resli, Der schweigende Engel and Ein Herz schlägt für Erika. She became the first German to be honoured with Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress for her performance in the drama film Town Without Pity.

 21 
Albert Göring
(Mechanical engineer)

Albert Göring
3
Birthdate: March 9, 1895
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Friedenau
Died: December 20, 1966
Apart from being an engineer who worked for the German army during World War I, Albert Göring is also remembered as the brother of infamous Nazi Party figure and military leader Hermann Göring. Surprisingly, he was anti-Nazi and had helped many Jews, though he remained ostracized due to his family name, post-war.

 22 
Stefan Quandt
(Billionaire heir, engineer and industrialist.)

Stefan Quandt
3
Birthdate: May 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bad Homburg, West Germany

Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn
3
Birthdate: January 28, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

 24 
Barbara Orbison
(Record producer, Music publisher, Composer)

Barbara Orbison
3
Birthdate: January 10, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bielefeld
Died: December 6, 2011

 25 
Jakob Fugger
(Entrepreneur, Banker)

Jakob Fugger
3
Birthdate: March 6, 1459
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Augsburg, Germany
Died: December 30, 1525

Jakob Fugger was a German merchant, banker, and mining entrepreneur. Born into the famous Fugger merchant family, Jakob Fugger helped expand the family business and stretched it across Europe. Thanks to his banking transactions with the House of Austria, Fugger also had a strong influence on European politics. He is counted among the wealthiest individuals of all time.    

 26 
Dietmar Hopp
(Entrepreneur)

Dietmar Hopp
3
Birthdate: April 26, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Heidelberg

 27 

Alfred Herrhausen
2
Birthdate: January 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Essen, Germany
Died: November 30, 1989

 28 
Robert Bosch
(Entrepreneur, Inventor, Artisan)

Robert Bosch
2
Birthdate: September 23, 1861
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Felkirchen
Died: March 12, 1942

The founder of the German engineering and technological MNC Bosch, Robert Bosch was born to a farmer in a south Germany village. He is also remembered as one of the first Germans to introduce 8-hour work days. He also invented the high-voltage spark plug and magneto for automobiles.

 29 
Zygi Wilf
(Businessperson)

Zygi Wilf
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

 30 
Tobias Lutke
(Businessperson)

Tobias Lutke
5
Birthdate: July 16, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Koblenz, Germany

 31 
Marcus Prinz von Anhalt
(socialite, nightclub owner)

Marcus Prinz von Anhalt
3
Birthdate: December 20, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Germany

 32 
Sebastian Thrun
(Computer scientist)

Sebastian Thrun
3
Birthdate: May 14, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Solingen, West Germany

 33 
Ida Straus
(Businessperson)

Ida Straus
1
Birthdate: February 6, 1849
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Worms, Germany Worms, Germany
Died: April 15, 1912

Tessa Grafin von Walderdorff
2
Birthdate: February 20, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 35 
Carl Laemmle
(Filmmaker)

Carl Laemmle
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Laupheim, Germany
Died: September 24, 1939

 36 
Karl Benz
(Entrepreneur)

Karl Benz
2
Birthdate: November 25, 1844
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mühlburg, Karlsruhe, Germany
Died: April 4, 1929

Karl Benz was a German engine designer, automotive engineer, and entrepreneur.  He designed the Benz Patent Motorcar, for which he received a patent in 1886. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe before venturing into developing motorcars. His Benz Patent Motorcar is widely regarded as the world's first production automobile. 

 37 
Ralph H. Baer
(Inventor)

Ralph H. Baer
3
Birthdate: March 8, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rodalben, Germany
Died: December 6, 2014

Born to a German Jewish family, Ralph H. Baer and his family escaped to New York later. He went from working in a factory to becoming an engineer. While working at Sanders Associates, he developed the idea of playing games on TV and later created the first video game console.

 38 
Saygin Yalcin
(Founder and CEO of the Middle East's first and largest car buying service, SellAnyCar.com)

Saygin Yalcin
1
Birthdate: April 25, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bremen, Germany

 39 
Eike Batista
(Businessperson)

Eike Batista
2
Birthdate: November 3, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Governador Valadares, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Eike Batista is a Brazilian-German serial entrepreneur. He was once engaged in a quest to promote Brazil's infrastructure with large-scale projects, which eventually led to his company’s bankruptcy. Once the wealthiest person in Brazil, he lost millions of dollars due to business losses and debts. He is currently under arrest for bribing Rio de Janeiro governor Sérgio Cabral.  

 40 

Ferdinand von Zeppelin
2
Birthdate: July 8, 1838
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Died: March 8, 1917

 41 
Karl Albrecht
(Entrepreneur)

Karl Albrecht
3
Birthdate: February 20, 1920
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Essen, Germany
Died: July 16, 2014

 42 
Patrick M. Knapp Schwarzenegger
(Lawyer, Businessman)

Patrick M. Knapp Schwarzenegger
1
Birthdate: February 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Munich, West Germany

 43 

Werner von Siemens
2
Birthdate: December 13, 1816
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gehrden
Died: December 6, 1892

German electrical engineer Werner von Siemens is remembered as a pioneer of the telegraph industry. The founder of Siemens also inspired the name to the SI unit of electrical conductance. He was part of the Prussian army and had begun his chemistry experiments while in prison for a minor crime.

 44 
Herbert Quandt
(Former industrialist who is regarded as having saved BMW when it was at the point of bankruptcy and made a huge profit in doing so)

Herbert Quandt
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1910
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pritzwalk, Germany
Died: June 2, 1982

 45 
Steve Shirley
(Computer scientist, Feminist)

Steve Shirley
2
Birthdate: September 16, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dortmund

Born Vera Buchthal, Steve Shirley moved from Germany to Britain as a child refugee during the Nazi regime. Later, going by the name Stephanie Brook, she began learning coding. Battling a male-dominated workplace environment, she changed her name to Steve. The celebrated scientist now runs a charitable foundation.

Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia
2
Birthdate: September 3, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zielona Gora, Poland

 47 
Günther Quandt
(German industrialist who founded an industrial empire that today includes BMW and Altana (chemicals))

Günther Quandt
1
Birthdate: July 28, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pritzwalk, Germany
Died: December 30, 1954

 48 
Tessy Antony de Nassau
(Businesswoman)

Tessy Antony de Nassau
2
Birthdate: October 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Tessy Antony de Nassau is a Luxembourgish non-profit executive and businesswoman. She was formerly married to Prince Louis of Luxembourg and was one of the most important members of the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg. For her humanitarian work, Tessy was honored with the Mrongovius Medal in 2016. A multi-talented personality, Tessy practices spinning, scuba diving, swimming, skiing, and hunting.

 49 
Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler
(Businesswoman and one of the owners of Schaeffler Group)

Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler
2
Birthdate: August 17, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia

 50 
Ernest Oppenheimer
(Entrepreneur)

Ernest Oppenheimer
2
Birthdate: May 22, 1880
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Friedberg, Germany
Died: November 25, 1957

Born to a cigar merchant in Germany, Ernest Oppenheimer went to South Africa as a representative of a diamond brokerage company and ended up becoming the mayor of Kimberley. He later established himself as a leading financier, who chaired De Beers and co-founded the Anglo American Corporation.