Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell, who led the centuries-old German writing instrument company Graf von Faber-Castell, has died. He was 74.
Von Faber-Castell died January 21 in Houston, Texas following a severe illness, the Germany-based company said Friday in an e-mailed statement.
“This message is a big shock for you, as it is for all of us,” said Thomas Dippold, on behalf of the managing board of Faber-Castell AG. “Many of you have known Count von Faber-Castell for many years, some even for decades. The values that he conveyed to us have shaped and changed us all. His vision, his entrepreneurship, his perseverance and his big heart will continue to be a model for us all. “
The eighth generation of his family to run the enterprise, von Faber-Castell took control in 1978, when it began producing makeup pencils for the cosmetics industry. During the next four decades, he propelled the brand into a 600 million euro ($648 million) business, offering four-figure pens under the Graf von Faber-Castell label in addition to mechanical pencils, art supplies and standard ballpoint and rollerball pens.
Von Faber-Castell, who became Faber-Castell AG’s chief executive officer in 2000, emphasized setting up foreign subsidiaries. Faber-Castell Malaysia, an eraser producer, was the company’s gateway to Asia in 1978. Today, the manufacturer operates throughout Asia and Latin America.
“Until the very end his work and his passion were directed towards his family, the company and its employees,” Dippold added. “Under his leadership that lasted for almost 40 years Faber-Castell has advanced to an international premium brand as well as one of the leading producers of cosmetic pencils. We mourn a model businessman, whom we both admired as an extraordinary entrepreneur and a farsighted personality, and who above all was a role model as a fellow human being to us. We will miss him deeply.”
Von Faber-Castell is survived by his wife Mary, his children Charles, Katharina, Victoria and Sarah, as well as his large extended family.
In remembrance of the Count, a minute of silence will be held on January 25 at 3 pm (CET) in the company’s German production plants, where all machines will stand still. Further information will be provided later this week.