Hermann Bühlbecker

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Hermann Bühlbecker (2002) at the domino baking line in the Lambertz factory in Aachen

Hermann Bühlbecker, according to the Federal Gazette Hermann Kittelberger-Bühlbecker[1] (born 7 June 1950 in Aachen), is a German entrepreneur in the confectionery industry. He was managing director of Aachener Printen- und Schokoladenfabrik Henry Lambertz GmbH & Co KG from 1978 and became sole shareholder of the company in 1992.

Life and work

The son of architect Hermann Bühlbecker and Rosemarie Bühlbecker, née Geller, Bühlbecker studied business administration at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg after graduating from high school. Bühlbecker, who had already enjoyed a successful career as a tennis player with TK Kurhaus Aachen as a teenager, financed his studies as a player with Noris Nürnberg, a club in the tennis top league, which at the time was comparable to today’s Bundesliga.

Shortly after graduating with a degree in business administration and earning his doctorate (Dr. rer. pol.), in 1976 his uncle Karl F. Kittelberger, managing director of Aachener Printen- und Schokoladenfabrik Henry Lambertz GmbH & Co. KG, convinced him to take an assistant position in the family business. At that time, Bühlbecker’s mother Rosemarie, her aunt Paula, née Geller, and her husband Kittelberger were partners.[2] At that time, the company, whose roots go back to 1688, was in serious financial difficulties due to its one-sided concentration on the production of seasonal biscuits. It was in debt and had to cope with a major fire in 1977 which caused damage amounting to 20 million DM.[3] In 1978 Hermann Bühlbecker took over the management from his uncle and expanded the company through innovations, especially in the field of all-season biscuits, as well as through strategic takeovers of other pastry manufacturers to become one of the largest confectionery manufacturers in Germany. With almost 3500 employees in currently seven branches, one of which is in Poland and, since 2011, one in the United States, he generates a total sales volume of over[4] united States, a total sales volume of over 550 million euros in 2011.[5] Since 1992, Bühlbecker has been the sole shareholder and chairman of the three-member advisory board of the Lambertz Group. He is also co-owner of Top Sweets GmbH in Nordkirchen, which he and Josef Schreinemacher founded in 2011, a private label producer of confectionery and chewing gum that also includes the sherbet stick manufacturer Sadex.[6]

In addition to his numerous commitments as a company director, Bühlbecker took on a teaching position as a lecturer since the summer semester of 2006 and, from 2010, as an honorary professor at the International School of Management in Dortmund. There he teaches in consulting workshops, market research projects and in the subject of entrepreneurship.[7]

Furthermore, in 2011 Bühlbecker was appointed Honorary Consul of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire,[8] a country that is considered the largest cocoa producer in the world and with which Bühlbecker had already maintained close business contacts for years.

Bühlbecker is a member of the Federal Association of the German Confectionery Industry (Bundesverband der Deutschen Süßwarenindustrie), where he was Deputy Chairman between 2000 and 2009 and also First Chairman of the Biscuits Department, of which he is still a member of the Board. He is also a member of the Economic Senate of the German Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW) and the European Economic Senate (EES).

Social commitment

Supported by his worldwide business contacts, Bühlbecker also built up numerous connections to important politicians, artists and institutions in order to engage with them in a variety of ways, including for their foundations in the social and societal spheres. For example, he supports the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), the Elton John Aids Foundation and the German AIDS Foundation. He is also involved with the Clinton Global Initiative of the Clinton Foundation, which works to fight poverty and global warming, as well as education, health, etc. Furthermore, he supported the German Agro Action, UNICEF and UNESCO Germany as well as the German Child Protection Association, the Federal Association for Children with Heart Diseases (BVHK e.V.). (BVHK e.V.) and the Aachen Animal Welfare Association. He is also involved with Cinema for Peace, a foundation whose aim is to raise awareness of the social and sociological relevance of films, as well as the influence of films on the perception and redress of worldwide social, political and humanitarian grievances.

In addition to his social commitment, Bühlbecker still has an active involvement in sport. For example, he is a member of the board of trustees of the German Sports Aid Foundation and, through his company, sponsors both the CHIO Aachen, the Alemannia Aachen and his former tennis club, the TK Kurhaus Aachen.

On the social stage, Bühlbecker has presented the annual “Lambertz Monday Night” since 2004,[9] which traditionally takes place parallel to the International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (ISM). These events take place in the “Alter Wartesaal ” in Cologne. Around 1,000 guests are invited to the glamorous “Chocolate & Fashion Show”, including numerous national and international celebrities, show stars, actors, politicians, diplomats, athletes and business managers. A photo calendar has also been published annually since 2004. The Lambertz calendar is published in a limited edition of 1000 and is not available in stores.


Hermann Bühlbecker (2018) with the Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Hermann Bühlbecker has been awarded several times for his versatile commitment and received among others:

  • 1988 the “Golden Clock”, the highest award of the confectionery industry
  • 1998 the “Goldener Zuckerhut”, the highest award of the German food industry, awarded by the Lebensmittel Zeitung
  • 1999 the title of honorary senator of the Bundesverband mittelständischer Wirtschaft (Federal Association of Medium-Sized Businesses)
  • 2002 the honorary title Entrepreneur of the Year in Germany
  • 2004 the Federal Cross of Merit on ribbon
  • 2008 the KIND-Award special prize of the association Kinderlachen
  • 2018 the Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia[10]
  • 2019 ISM Award as the first German entrepreneur[11]


Hermann Bühlbecker is married to Zahra Bühlbecker and has a daughter (* 1996) from his first marriage to a French woman.[12][13][14]


  • Markus Plate, Torsten Groth, Volker Ackermann and Arist von Schlippe: Große Deutsche Familienunternehmen: Generational Succession, Family Strategy and Corporate Development. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2011, pp. 45-51 (Google books).
  • Bettina Dornberg: Networker par excellence in: Absatzwirtschaft – Zeitung für Marketing, 6-2009, S. 90-93.
  • Steffen Klusmann: 101 Haudegen der deutschen Wirtschaft – Köpfe, Karrieren und Konzepte in: Financial Times Deutschland 2006, pp. 107-111

Web links

Commons: Hermann Bühlbecker– Collection of images

Individual references

  1. Aachener Printen- und Schokoladenfabrik Henry Lambertz GmbH & Co KG (retrieved 22 November 2017).
  2. Major German Family Businesses: Generational Succession, Family Strategy and Corporate Development, Markus Plate (2006)
  3. German Economic Archives, Renate Schwärzel, Cologne (1994)
  4. Christoph Kapalschinski:German cookies for American palates.In: 8 October 2011, retrieved 22 September 2015.
  5. Sales figures at IHK Aachen, p. 47 (PDF; 7.1 MB)Retrieved March 29, 2020.@1@2Template:Dead link/ no longer available, search web archives ).
  6. TOP SWEETS GmbH takes over cult sherbet stick manufacturer Sadex, press release from 9 March 2012
  7. Award of honorary professorship to ISM lecturer Dr. Bühlbecker – ISM, 20 January 2011
  8. Consular representations
  9. Lambertz Monday Night(Memento of 18 November 2013 in the Internet Archive)
  10. Award of the NRW State Order of Merit on July 2, 2018
  11. Lambertz Group: Hermann Bühlbecker receives ISM Award 2019, press release from January 24, 2019 on
  12. The baker’s roll WamS from 13 October 2002 (retrieved 21 November 2017)

  13. Lambertz boss: Closely married for 3 years, of 3 July 2013(Memento of 1 December 2017 in the Internet Archive)
  14. Major German Family Businesses: Generational Succession, Family Strategy, and Corporate Development, Markus Plate, Torsten Groth, Volker Ackermann, Arist von Schlippe (author), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (2011), p. 49 (retrieved 21 November 2017)