Combi oven inventor who founded Rational loses battle with illness

Siegfried Meister, founder and chairman of the supervisory board

The man who founded combi oven giant Rational has passed away after a short battle with illness, the manufacturer confirmed this morning.

Siegfried Meister, 78, was still the majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board at the Landsberg-based firm in Germany. Rational said he suffered a “brief, serious illness”.

Walter Kurtz, supervisory board member and shareholder since 2000 will, as the first deputy chairman, assume temporary chairmanship of the supervisory board.

Rational AG’s CEO, Dr Peter Stadelmann, paid tribute, saying: “The well-being of the ‘entrepreneurs in the company’, as he viewed his employees, was very important to Mr Meister. This makes us all the more sad about our great loss, and we are committed to continuing his lifetime’s work in his spirit.”

When Meister started producing convection ovens in Landsberg over 40 years ago in 1973, his goal was to make the work of people who prepare hot food in professional kitchens easier.

The combi-steamer was born in 1976 when he and his small team added steam to the hot, dry air in the oven. This is said to have revolutionised the large and commercial kitchens of the world: production processes, organisation and efficiency have changed significantly since then.

Since 1998 he has acted as the chairman of the supervisory board and in 2000 floated Rational AG on the stock exchange.

Besides in his role as chairman of the supervisory board, he assisted the company with his extensive experience and expertise – and until the very end he had a set table in the company restaurant, surrounded by his employees.

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