Irmgard Schmid-Maybach, an honorary member of the Supervisory Board of what is now Rolls-Royce Solutions GmbH (formerly MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH), has died in San Francisco, USA, at the age of 98. The daughter of Karl Maybach who, as founder of the company Luftfahrzeug Motorenbau GmbH, laid the foundation for today's Rolls-Royce Power Systems business unit with its mtu brand, maintained close contact with the company in which she held a stake until 2005.
Irmgard Schmid-Maybach was born in Friedrichshafen on October 16, 1923, the fourth of five children of Käthe and Karl Maybach. After World War II, she assisted her father in his company Maybach-Motorenbau before moving to San Francisco (USA) in the 1950s to live with her husband, the physician Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Schmid.
Her life is interwoven with the history of our company, which is why her travels took her back to Friedrichshafen time and again. From 1983 to 1990, as executor of her father's will, she administered the shares in MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH bequeathed by her father to his family. She was a member of the Supervisory Board of MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH from 1984 to 2006, and an honorary life member of the Supervisory Board from 2006. When majority owner Daimler sold MTU Friedrichshafen in 2005, she too relinquished her shares in the company, paving the way for new developments at the company that led to what is now known as Rolls-Royce Power Systems.
“Irmgard Schmid-Maybach was far more than someone with a mere interest in the company; she actively committed herself to it to the very end. With her passing, we lose so much more than a character who impressed us time and again with her knowledge of the industry and of the company. She was a highly valued advisor to me and on many occasions influenced our thinking on important corporate decisions,” said Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, who maintained regular contact with her. “Irmgard Schmid-Maybach helped us gain a better understanding of the culture of the company founded by her father Karl. Its influence prevails to this day, and we are proud of our Maybach history. Karl Maybach's pioneering spirit, his enthusiasm for technology and his strength as an innovator are among the cornerstones upon which our company's success is built,” said Schell.
Irmgard Schmid-Maybach always described her connection with 'her mtu' – now Rolls-Royce Solutions GmbH and part of Rolls-Royce's Power Systems division – as very strong. She often traveled to Supervisory Board meetings in person, thus maintaining contact with the company and with the people in Friedrichshafen. “My father's spirit lives on in the company. And this spirit is so special, unlike that in other companies. I have great reverence and respect for how the company employees stick together and conduct their work,” she said on the occasion of the company's 100th anniversary.