Piller celebrates 100 years in Osterode
The Piller Group marked the centenary of operations in Osterode am Harz, near Hannover, last Friday at a celebration attended by the company’s employees, their families and much of the town’s population.
The special day commenced with a small gathering at the Town Hall to sign the "Golden Book” of the City. Adding their signatures to those of notable visitors to Osterode over the last 60 years, including many of Germany’s Chancellor’s, Mr Tony Langley, Chairman of Langley Holdings plc, Piller’s parent company, and group board directors Mr Bernard Langley and Mr William Langley, were invited by Mayor Mr Klaus Becker, together with Piller Group Managing Directors, Dr Detlev Seidel and Mr Andrew Dyke, to sign the “Golden Book”.
Mr Klaus Becker, Mayor of Osterode, thanked the Langley and Piller delegation for keeping the headquarters in Osterode and for its close connections with the community.
Langley said he felt “...less like the owner of Piller and more like it’s custodian, taking care of the business for the next generation and for the next 100 years.”
He went on to say that “Langley is very much a family business and has the same values as those that Piller was founded on by Anton Piller all those years ago and that these values are shared by the next generation here with me today”.
The party then proceeded to the town's Spa Park Convention Centre to address Piller employees past and present.
A photo exhibition of Piller’s achievements, spanning more than 100 years, was on display at the Convention Centre.
The event attracted more than 4000 visitors on the day, as many of the townspeople turned out to join the celebrations.
Dr Detlev Seidel, Managing Director - Operations, said in his opening speech it was important to his fellow board colleagues and to their shareholder, that they focus on the people who make up the Piller company, as well as the company’s commitment to the city and the region for this anniversary. He thanked the workforce and said how proud Anton Piller would be of the current owners and what they have achieved together with the Piller’s employees, in recent years.
Reflecting on the occasion, Langley said that when he first came to Piller, in the summer of 2004 it was a very different situation. "Somehow the vision that Anton Piller had had been lost, but slowly but surely Langley and the Piller management rebuilt that vision, making Piller the successful company it is today". Reminiscent of American President John F Kennedy’s famous 1961 “Berlin Speech” he went on to say, in a warmly received address: “More than 2000 years ago, in Ancient Rome, the proudest thing a man could say is “I am a Citizen of Rome”. Today, 15 years on from first coming here, I am proud to say that “I am a citizen of Osterode”. But more than that “Ich bin ein Pilleraner!”
Celebrations went on through the evening into the night with fairground rides, food stalls, live music and other festivities, culminating in a “100 Years in Osterode” laser show at midnight.
Piller is a global leader in power protection equipment for mission-critical power applications. Founded in Hamburg in 1909 by Anton Piller, in 1919 the company moved to its current headquarters and production site in Osterode am Harz. Today, Piller has a second production facility at nearby Bilshausen. In addition, Piller has sales and service subsidiaries in Europe, North and South America, Australia and Asia.
The company employs around 1000 people worldwide. Its clients include many of the world's leading banks and financial institutions, data centres, broadcasters, telecom operators and government organisations. Piller is a subsidiary of the diverse, privately owned engineering and industrial group, Langley Holdings plc.