The Lord of the Numbers

What's the bottom line? Helmut Mangel was already intrigued by the world of figures as a schoolboy, and it was numbers that shaped his lifework at COR: On 31 March it is with great gratitude that we bid farewell to the commercial director after 50 years of service to the company.

Rheda-Wiedenbrück, 29 March 2016. Focused and good-humoured, sporty and cheerful: Helmut Mangel does not perceive his responsibility as commercial director at COR seating furniture according to protocol: "I am part of a family business," says the extremely young-looking 64-year-old. And this has been his attitude since 1966, when the then 14-year-old school leaver began his commercial apprenticeship at the company: "I wore a tie and a jacket only in my third year, full of pride for the forthcoming challenges."

Over the following decades, many of them required a steep learning curve, such as the initial introduction of computer systems in the early 70s. People used to work with magnetic ledger computers and punched tape receipts, followed by the creation of a reporting system, on which Helmut Mangel was trained under Albrecht Deyhle, the "auditing guru" at the time. "Hardly anyone had heard of such things then," he recalls. "But my former teacher and mentor Werner Vormfenne quickly recognised it as a sign of the times and invested in training and modern data processing systems for administration and in the factory."

From the very beginning, the young Helmut Mangel was progressive and passionate about beautiful furniture: "My first boss Helmut Lübke was 30 years old when I began my career in 1966. His successor and son Leo Lübke took over as manager in 1994, aged 31." He enjoyed a friendly relationship with both and in 1997 became an authorised representative, sharing not only the business successes, but also some difficult challenges. These include Helmut Lübke's early death in 2006, the economically turbulent times during the Lehman crisis and his dual role as commercial director of COR and interlübke (2006-2014).

"In the same way that I have been involved in the entire IT landscape, I have also experienced first-hand COR's development, and to some extent interlübke's, and have been able to make my contribution," says Helmut Mangel. He also laid the foundations for the seating furniture company's transformation to lean manufacturing (implementation up to 2017). "Helmut Mangel has been my representative in all matters, very professional, pleasant and open in his dealings with everyone," says managing partner Leo Lübke. "50 years at this level is a real lifetime achievement. We bid farewell to him with enormous gratitude – and as a good friend."

Helmut Mangel hands over his responsibilities as head of accounts to Andreas Mast (48) on 1 April. "A change based on partnership, ensuring continuity and progress." A lack of activity during his forthcoming retirement is not to be expected: Mangel, who describes himself as a sporty all-rounder, still has much to occupy his time, including travelling, playing tennis, running, as well as working on his house and his busy family life. "The bottom line is that there's still a lot to do," he says with his usual cheerfulness, referring also to his existing duties as president of the COR Tennis Club, CTC.

Helmut Mangel's official leaving party will be held on 31 March with all his colleagues. Leo Lübke will take this opportunity to wish the "Lord of the Numbers" all the best for his future ventures.

COR Sitzmöbel Helmut Lübke GmbH & Co. KG

Leo Lübke
Geschäftsführender Gesellschafter
Nonenstraße 12
33378 Rheda-Wiedenbrück
t +49.(0)52 42.41 02-231


Helga Sonntag-Kunst
hsk communications
Warnckesweg 43
22453 Hamburg
t +49.(0)172 4157756

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