Milestones in the biography of Helmut Claas

16 July 1926: birth of Helmut Claas in Harsewinkel, as the oldest of the three children of Paula and August Claas. At that time, his father ran the agricultural machinery firm he had established with his brothers, with around 100 employees.
After passing the secondary leaving examination in September 1946, Helmut Claas took up an apprenticeship as a fitter. This was followed by several internships with metalworking firms and foundries, and at Miele. So in later years, he was able to talk to his engineers not as a boss, but as a technician who had learned his trade before rising through the ranks.
In 1948, Helmut Claas enrolled for a mechanical engineering degree at the Technical University of Hanover, which he successfully completed in 1954. He then completed a one-year programme in agriculture at the Grande Ecole National d‘Agriculture in Paris.
c. 1955-1957
After his university studies, he was given the task of planning and establishing a sales company in France, now CLAAS France S.A.S.
After his time in France, he returned to Harsewinkel. On 1 July 1957, he joined his father’s company, where he devoted himself to his chosen area of specialisation – engineering.
In 1962, Helmut Claas was appointed as director of the engineering department in his father’s company. His main focus was on developing pioneering products and their cost-efficient mass production.
In 1978, Helmut Claas was appointed Chairperson of the CLAAS Management Board and Managing Partner.
In 1995, on the restructuring of CLAAS as a partnership limited by shares (KGaA mbH), Helmut Claas became Chairperson of the Supervisory Board and Chairperson of the Partners’ Committee.
In 2010, Helmut Claas provided for the future of his firm by handing over to his daughter Cathrina as chairperson of the Supervisory Board.
The election of Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser as Chairperson now completes the transition to the third generation on the Shareholders' Committee.