"Controlling Pope" Péter Horváth passed away

After a short, serious illness, Péter Horváth died unexpectedly on June 4, 2022. The ICV mourns its Honorary Member.

Here is the press release from Horváth AG on the death of Péter Horváth:

The more than 1,000 employees of the international management consultancy Horváth mourn the loss of their company founder and Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board Péter Horváth. "His sudden death hits us completely unexpectedly and is very painful for all of us," says CEO Helmut Ahr. "With Péter Horváth, we are not only losing a visionary and a passionate entrepreneurial personality, but also a mentor who always managed to fascinate those around him with his energy and enthusiasm."

Péter Horváth founded the management consultancy Horváth in 1981 and is considered a pioneer of Controlling in German-speaking countries. From 1989 to 2001, Péter Horváth was CEO of the consultancy. In 2001, he became Chairman of the Supervisory Board, and from 2014 to the end of 2021 he was Deputy Chairman. At the turn of the year, the founder of what is now Germany's fourth-largest management consultancy resigned from this position at his own request and was appointed Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board. He explained his retirement on the occasion of his birthday on February 3, 2022, saying: "The 85th birthday is a good occasion to resign from a position in time for succession planning."

"After retiring as an active member of the Supervisory Board, Péter Horváth wanted to use his time more for personal projects and private interests. The fact that he was no longer given this time fills us all with very great sadness. Péter Horváth combined science, entrepreneurship and cultural interests in one person like no other," says Horváth CEO Helmut Ahr.

An eventful life marked by science and entrepreneurship

Péter Horváth's life was characterized by courageous decisions, contagious passion, entrepreneurial spirit and sporting ambition. Born in Hungary, he fled to Austria and then to Germany in 1956 in the course of the revolution. In 1973, Péter Horváth established the first Chair of Controlling in Germany at Darmstadt Technical University. The modern understanding of Controlling in corporate practice has been significantly influenced by Péter Horváth. He is regarded as the founder of this economic discipline in German-speaking countries, who knew how to combine science and teaching with corporate practice. His standard work "Controlling", published in 1979, is now in its 14th edition and exists in five languages. In total, Péter Horváth wrote more than 40 specialist books, countless specialist articles and was co-editor of the German magazines „Controlling“, „Wissenschaftsmanagement“ and „Familienunternehmen und Strategie“.

From 1981 to 2003, Péter Horváth taught as a professor at the University of Stuttgart, and a total of 85 doctoral students received their doctorate from him. In 1982, he co-founded the "Förderkreis Betriebswirtschaft an der Universität Stuttgart e.V.," whose purpose was, among other things, to promote the networking of science and practice. Péter Horváth also enjoyed a high international reputation. He held visiting professorships at international universities such as New York, Vienna, São Paulo and Shanghai. He received honorary doctorates from several universities for his scientific achievements. Péter Horváth also had high goals in sports: even at the age of 75, he ran the New York City Marathon in 2012, for the 22nd time.

Life's work of the unique personality Péter Horváth continues to have an impact – Great commitment to promoting young talent

In 2001, Péter Horváth founded the non-profit research institute IPRI, the International Performance Research Institute, and was personally committed to promoting art, science and international understanding, holding various honorary posts and having his own foundation. The Péter Horváth Foundation, founded in 2002, supports young artists at the Stuttgart University of Music with scholarships and awards an annual prize for sustainability projects in business ("Green Controlling Award") as well as a dissertation prize. Among other things, Péter Horváth was Honorary Chairman of the Board of the Business Club of the House of Literature Stuttgart and as a Board Member of the Adolf Hölzel Foundation. He supported the “Festspielhaus” in Baden-Baden and other art and cultural projects in Hungary and Germany. In addition, Péter Horváth supported the "Center of Family Business" at the Corvinus University in Budapest and the Péter Horváth Endowed Professorship for Business Information Management at the University of Ulm, as well as an annual conference of all universities on the Danube for the exchange of experience in scientific management.

Bernd Gaiser, Chairman of the Horváth Supervisory Board, on the surprising death of his longtime mentor and companion: "For Péter Horváth, it was the future that counted, not the past. The most innovative idea should prevail, not hierarchy. And quality mattered to him, even in the details. With this attitude, he inspired generations of students, established a successful company, and made many friends. His vision will be continued with his impressive life's work." 

Péter Horváth's inspiring career is also depicted in this short biographical film produced in honor of his 80th birthday:

Honorary Membership 2013: Dr. Péter Horváth

Dr Péter Horváth, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Management Consultancy Horváth & Partners, Managing Director of IPRI GmbH, Stuttgart, and Head of the ICV's Idea Workshop, was awarded an Honorary Membership by Siegfried Gänßlen, the Chairman of the ICV's Board of Managing Directors, during the 2013 General Assembly. Mr Gänßlen stated that “the man being honoured today has done more than just render outstanding services to the controlling profession, he is in fact considered to be one of its founders. He enjoys the highest national and international reputation within the academic community.” Péter Horváth has published more than 50 books and 400 articles.

From 1981 to 2005 he was Chairman of Controlling and General Business Administration at the University of Stuttgart. He was also a visiting professor in New York, Vienna, Sao Paulo and Shanghai. In 1996 he was awarded the State Teaching Award from the German State of Baden-Württemberg. In recognition of his academic accomplishments he has been awarded three honorary doctorates: in 2006, by Corvinus University, Budapest as well as by the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel, and in 2011 by the University of West Hungary (the main campus of the University in Sopron, the birthplace of Prof. Horváth).

Apart from his numerous publications as well as his commitment to the ICV and the controlling profession in general, Siegfried Gänßlen also commented on the charitable cultural commitment of the honouree: “In particular, I would also like to draw your attention to the Péter Horváth Foundation, which awards the Green Controlling Prize annually at the CCS.” This prize, worth 10,000 euros, is awarded in recognition of an innovative and effective “green” controlling solution. In addition, Horváth serves as Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council at the Literature House of Stuttgart, and is also a member of the University Council of the Stuttgart Academy of Music.

Gänßlen concluded his laudatory speech by reminiscing about Horváth's 70th birthday party in 2007, when Horváth adeptly described the three phases in his life, saying that he had been

  • A scholar who is aware that knowledge is constantly renewed and never conclusive
  • An advisor who conveys “conclusive” knowledge to companies, and
  • An entrepreneur who is always seeking conclusive knowledge.