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125 years of the Carl Zeiss Foundation

Promoting knowledge, acting responsibly.

Learn more about the anniversary

The Carl Zeiss Foundation

Structure of the Carl Zeiss Foundation

The Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation) is the owner of Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG.

Affiliated with Carl Zeiss AG and Schott AG are a number of German and non-German subsidiaries that are combined as an organization in the Carl Zeiss Group and the Schott Group.

Historical Milestones

Transformation of the foundation company into legally independent stock companies

After German reunification, Carl Zeiss and SCHOTT take over the shares of their parent companies in Jena

Continuation of the foundation company in West Germany:
Carl Zeiss (Oberkochen) and SCHOTT (Mainz)

Ernst Abbe issues the charter of Carl Zeiss Foundation as the corporate constitution of the Foundation

Carl Zeiss Foundation becomes the sole owner of the ZEISS and SCHOTT plants

Carl Zeiss Foundation established by Ernst Abbe.

Otto Schott, Ernst Abbe, Carl and Roderich Zeiss found the glass laboratory Schott & Co. in Jena.

Carl Zeiss establishes an optics workshop in Jena

Objectives and Responsibilities

(in accordance with Section 1 of the Foundation charter)

The primary objectives of the Carl Zeiss Foundation are the responsible management of the Foundation companies Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG as well as the financial security of the foundation companies. The Carl Zeiss Foundation is the sole shareholder.


The Foundation pursues its objectives and responsibilities…

... within the companies by:

  • pursuing specific business activities of the companies,
  • exercising special social responsibility,
  • promoting the general interests of the optical and precision engineering industries,
  • supporting nonprofit organizations at the locations of the Foundation companies


... outside the company by:

  • Promoting research and education in the fields in which the Foundation companies and their subsidiaries are active.

The Foundation

The Carl Zeiss Foundation is primarily composed of three bodies:

Foundation Administration
  • Allocating subsidies for research and education
  • Amending the Foundation charter
  • Appointing members of the Foundation Council
Foundation Council
  • Attending to the economic interests of the foundation as the sole shareholder of Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG
  • Chairman is to be elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Foundation companies ("link" between the Foundation and the Foundation companies)
Management Advisory Board

Provides hearings and
consultation for

  • selecting the members of the Foundation Council
  • allocating subsidies
  • amending the Foundation charter

Bodies of Carl Zeiss AG and its Members

General Meeting
  • Dr. Dieter Kurz
  • Ludwig Georg Braun
  • Dr. Thomas Lindner
Supervisory Board

Shareholder's representatives:

  • Dr. Dieter Kurz
    (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
  • Dr. Klaus Dieterich
  • Dr. Ing. Mathias Kammüller
  • Dr. Joachim Kreuzburg
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek
  • Dr. Lothar Steinebach
  • Prof. Dr. Dr h.c. Günter Stock
  • Dr. Eberhard Veit

Employee representatives:

  • Manfred Wicht (Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
  • Hariolf Abele
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Allespach
  • Angelika Franzke
  • Roland Hamm
  • Dr. Joachim Heppner
  • Eva-Maria Menzel
  • Wilhelm Ulrich
Executive Board
  • Dr. Michael Kaschke
  • Dr. Hermann Gerlinger
  • Dr. Matthias Metz
  • Dr. Ludwin Monz
  • Thomas Spitzenpfeil

Bodies of SCHOTT AG and their Members

General Meeting
  • Dr. Dieter Kurz
  • Ludwig Georg Braun
  • Dr. Thomas Lindner


Supervisory Board

Shareholders' representatives:

  • Dr. Dieter Kurz (Chairman)
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Backhaus
  • Dr. Eduard Kulenkamp
  • Dr. Stefan Marcinowski
  • Dr. Eckhard Müller
  • Dr. Richard Pott


Employees' representatives:

  • Wolfgang Heinrich
    (Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
  • Hartmuth Baumann
  • Gerhard Greim
  • Dr. Thomas Hünlich
  • Martina Mehlan
  • Salvatore Ruggiero
Executive Board
  • Dr. Frank Heinricht
    (Chairman of the Management Board)
  • Dr. Hans-Joachim Konz
  • Klaus Rübenthaler