Following a serious illness, Dr. Werner Müller passed away on 15th July 2019 in Essen/Germany at the age of 73 years. He leaves behind his wife and two grown-up children.
Until May 2018, the former Federal Minister of Economics was still actively involved in the world of work as the Chairman of the Board of the RAG Foundation, and as Chairman of the Supervisory Boards of Evonik Industries AG and RAG Aktiengesellschaft. His cancer then forced him to reduce his professional activity.
As Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board, he remained closely associated with Evonik until the end. “Werner Müller founded Evonik, led the company and played a decisive role in making the corporation what it is today,” said Christian Kullmann, Chairman of the Board at Evonik. “Without Werner Müller, Evonik would not exist. We will always be grateful to him for his life’s work and bow our heads in great sadness at his passing.”
“We respect Werner Müller for his lifetime achievements. As the founder of the RAG Foundation, he played a decisive role in positively steering the destiny of thousands of miners and the mining regions. We will miss him very much as a great thinker and human being,” said Bernd Tönjes, who succeeded Müller as Chairman of the Board of the RAG Foundation and as Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Evonik. He explained that Müller always kept in view the legitimate interests of all involved.
“Werner Müller led our Supervisory Board very well with cleverness and all his experience,” said Martin Albers, Chairman of the Central Works Council at Evonik. “Even in difficult situations, he continually succeeded in ensuring a good balance between the interests of the shareholders and of the workforce.”
From 1998 to 2002, Müller served as an independent Minister of Economics and Technology in the government of Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. In 2003, he became Chairman of the Board of RAG, as well as of the German Coal Association. “Werner Müller has given invaluable service to German coalmining and miners, who were always personally close to his heart,” said Peter Schrimpf, Chairman of the Board at RAG. “At the head of our Supervisory Board, he provided our company with important impetus and always ensured that the concerns of all involved were duly taken into consideration.”
Barbara Schlüter, Chairwoman of the Central Works Council at RAG, praised Müller’s service: “Werner Müller helped the coalminers to complete the abandonment of coalmining in a socially compatible and dignified manner, for which we are grateful.”
In 2007, in the course of the restructuring of RAG in conjunction with the creation of the RAG Foundation, Müller became the first Chairman of the Board of Evonik Industries AG, which he led until the end of 2008. Four years later, he was appointed Chairman of the RAG Foundation, and at the same time became Chairman of the Supervisory Boards of Evonik and RAG. As Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Evonik, he successfully floated the corporation on the stock exchange in April 2013. Upon his retirement, Werner Müller was voted Honorary Chairman by both boards. At the same time, he was also appointed Honorary Chairman of the Board of the RAG Foundation. (RAG-Stiftung/Evonik/RAG/Si.)