Did you know that ...

... Carl Zeiss was an HR expert?

Company founder Carl Zeiss was born on 11 September 1816 in the German town of Weimar. Over 50,000 visitors recently came to the city of Jena to celebrate his 200th birthday, where there were lots of activities for young inventors and up-and-coming scientists. 

We can still learn a lot from Carl Zeiss today, e.g. how it important it is for a company to find good employees. That is why Carl Zeiss hired the young scientist Ernst Abbe – not yet a household name – and gave him the necessary freedom to work on the mathematical foundations for designing microscope lenses. Although an accomplished entrepreneur and mechanic, Zeiss recognized that there were limits to his knowledge and abilities. The breakthrough came in 1870 with Abbe's sine condition, which enabled microscopes to be manufactured on a scientific basis.

Carl Zeiss not only was interested in finding excellent employees, but also succeeded in retaining them for a long time. This was the case with Zeiss' first employee, August Löber. Löber was hired in 1847, rose through the ranks over the years, becoming a trainer and later a foreman, and later received a share of the profits. Carl Zeiss was also quite an HR expert.

With the increasing success of his company, he also thought about social protection for his employees and even founded a company health insurance plan in 1876 which provided free treatment, reimbursement for medication fees and financial support in the event of an inability to work. Zeiss also recognized employees' achievements by organizing special celebrations, e.g. to mark the manufacture of the 4,000th or 10,000th microscope.

On top of this, Zeiss was especially gifted at networking. Already during his training as a young man, he came into direct contact with scientists and mathematicians at the University of Jena. The networking of industry and science which he created is still practiced today. His passion for precision and quality is legendary and continues to characterize the company ZEISS, its employees and its products.


We give you a fascinating insight into the world of ZEISS: from the analysis of classical works of art to Oscar-winning lenses; from pull-out telescopes to examinations using "ultralight".