Max Planck Society appoints new Secretary General

Former TU Chancellor comes back to Munich

March 19, 2010

At today‘s meeting the Senate of the Max Planck Society approved the appointment of Dr. Ludwig Kronthaler as the new Secretary General of the Max Planck Society. Dr. Kronthaler will succeed Dr. Barbara Bludau effective October 1, 2010.

As a Bavarian by birth, returning to Munich comes as second nature to Ludwig Kronthaler. After all, he already has a successful career in the city to look back on: During his term of office as Chancellor of the TU Munich from 1997 to 2005 he played a major role in advancing the reform process. His name is associated with the introduction of a nationwide concept for an accounting system for universities oriented along commercial lines (based on what are known as the Greifswald Principles). His concept also extended to an appropriate system of taxation for universities, which took account of their status as scientific institutions for the first time.

Born in 1957 in Donauwörth, Dr. Kronthaler specialized in law and began his career at the Augsburg City tax office before moving on to the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance. He later spent two years heading a tax office before taking up a post in 1995 as a financial expert at the Bavarian State Representative Office in Bonn. In September 2005, Dr. Kronthaler was appointed as a judge at the Federal Fiscal Court. Two years later in May 2007, he took leave from his judicial post in order to assume the position of Director of Resource Management and Industrial Affairs at the European Space Agency (ESA) in Paris. His tasks included human resources, finance, procurement, industrial policy and corporate controlling. Dr. Kronthaler was the candidate of choice for the ESA: Based on his experience gained at the TU Munich with the integration of SAP software systems in the universities accounting systems, he was chosen to implement the financial reforms planned by the ESA. He subsequently went on to successfully introduce reforms of the procurement and pension systems as well.

By now the father of two grown-up sons, with a doctorate in a subject for which as he says, "I always had an inclination" and with numerous publications to his name in the fields of civil, labour, higher education and tax law, Dr. Kronthaler will take up the post of Secretary General of the Max Planck Society effective October 1, 2010. "In Ludwig Kronthaler we have found a man who commands extensive experience in science management and has also distinguished himself in the operational management of an international institution such as the ESA. I am convinced that with his knowledge and capabilities he will make a major contribution to the continuing development of the Max Planck Society," as President Peter Gruss stated.

The current Secretary General Dr. Barbara Bludau will remain at the Max Planck Society’s disposal to advise on fundamental matters as from October 1, 2010, and until her retirement on June 30, 2011.

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