Former Nobilia MD Werner Stickling dies aged 79

Werner Stickling, long-time managing director of German kitchen manufacturer Nobilia, has died aged 79.

Stickling was born in Gütersloh in 1945 – the year Nobilia was founded – and grew up in Avenwedde. After completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter and subsequent technician training aged 22, he joined the company led by his father Johann in 1967. While his brother Heinz Stickling managed administration and sales, Werner Stickling took charge of production and technology.

In 1970, Werner Stickling and his brother Heinz took over the management of the business and were pivotal in the expansion of the kitchen furniture manufacturer. Stickling withdrew from operational business in 1996 but as honorary chairman of the advisory board, he remained actively involved in the company until his death.

A statement on the Nobilia website celebrates Stickling as a “great role model for all nobilians.” The statement read: “His vision and entrepreneurial spirit shaped the company and were the basis for sustainable growth. His values and the corporate culture he shaped will continue to be the foundation of the company in the future. His family, the nobilia management and the employees mourn the loss of a great entrepreneurial personality and an outstanding person.”

Many organisations associated with the German kitchen furniture industry have also reacted to Stickling’s passing.

“The German furniture industry has lost a significant and influential entrepreneurial personality,” said Andreas Wagner, chairman of Verbands der Holzindustrie und Kunststoffverarbeitung Westfalen-Lippe (Association of the Wood and Plastics Processing Industry). “The exchange with him was always extremely valuable; his vast experience, deep knowledge, and foresight were impressive.”

Jan Kurth, managing director of the Verbands der Deutschen Möbelindustrie und der westfälischen Möbelverbände (Association of the German Furniture Industry and the Westphalian Furniture Associations), commented: “Werner Stickling will be greatly missed by our industry as a visionary and loyal supporter of the associations.”

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