Behind each company is an owner. In the case of Otto Hydraulics, there are even two. Since the retirement of our co-founder and partner Rainer Kröll in 2005, Otto Hydraulics now belongs completely to Christine and Reinhard Otto. Otto Hydraulics is thus a classic owner-operated company since Reinhard Otto is not only the owner but also the executive manager.
When a spouse is the executive manager of a company and the company belongs to both spouses, the company will principally determine all aspects of one’s own life. Over the course of their (business) life, Christine and Reinhard Otto have experienced much and overcome many things together – they went through all the highs and lows together. Even if Reinhard Otto manages the business of Otto Hydraulics, Christine Otto is at his side with advice and a calming, supportive influence. Current events, challenges and principal decisions are discussed by the two at home. For that reason, and because the Otto family has always had to limit their joint free time due to the enormous amount of time required for work in and at the company, the company determines the life of Christine and Reinhard Otto for the most part.
The owners of Otto Hydraulics are also united in their sense for social commitment. Christine and Reinhard Otto have been committed to a school project in Afghanistan and UNICEF for quite some time. Instead of sending the customers tokens for Christmas each year, the company would rather give for charity.
The successor is on the way
There comes a time when an entrepreneur needs to organise a successor. Many ignore this aspect until it is too late, faced with an unpleasant surprise instead of enjoying one’s well-earned retirement. Otto Hydraulics took measures in time to securely set up the company for the future whilst laying the basis for further growth.
In the summer of 2014, Reinhard Otto purchased the supplier company Hydronic and established the subsidiary Otto Fluid Control GmbH. The daughter of the Otto couple, Caroline, assumed the business because she was fortuitously open to a change in work at this time. Caroline Otto not only manages the business of Otto Fluid Control but is also an active force in all areas of the company. Her training and past job in the quality department of a large company has benefited her in fulfilling her tasks and challenges.
A few months later, Reinhard Otto hired his nephew Johannes, who has a versatile sales and vocational experience background and who was also open to changing to the hydraulics sector. He has been taking care of the areas Sales and Customer Support as well as Marketing since the autumn of 2014.
When the Otto’s son Felix successfully graduated from his Masters course of study in industrial engineering and operations research in the spring of 2015, he also found his way directly to Otto Hydraulics in a supporting capacity to Reinhard Otto for order processing and many special tasks; Otto Hydraulics was now a completely family-owned business.
The integration of three close family members all within one year put Otto Hydraulics on a firm basis for the future, fit to face the fresh wind blowing in many sectors, taking the load from Reinhard Otto’s shoulders thanks to the even distribution, and releasing new potentials.