Herbert W. Liaunig, majority owner of the WILD Group, passed away on 29 September 2023 at the age of 78. The staff of WILD and PHOTONIC mourn their founding father, an extraordinary visionary and esteemed art collector.

Under the leadership of Herbert W. Liaunig the WILD Group developed from an initial “extended workbench” of the Leica Group to an internationally sought-after technology partner possessing enormous development potentials. This extraordinary transformation is not least attributable to the entrepreneurial acumen, the sharp mind and the immense efforts of the industrialist Herbert Liaunig. He decisively contributed to shaping the group of companies and systematically worked to make it more financially successful than ever before. As a collector he also shared his passion for art with the staff. After all, his private collection of Austrian and modern art, which has grown to comprise more than 2,000 works since his days as a student in Vienna, is not only accessible in Museum Liaunig in Neuhaus. Numerous works, including by Markus Prachensky, Max Weiler and Bruno Gironcoli, bestow a dinstinct character on the WILD locations in Völkermarkt and Wernberg.

“The WILD Group bears his signature. Personally, I have learnt an unbelievable amount from Herbert Liaunig in our 25 years of working together. We will always uphold his fundamental rules of corporate governance”, says WILD Group CFO Michael Wratschko.

A success story, his success story

By purchasing WILD Carinthia in 1995 Herbert Liaunig, together with Dieter Feger, prevented the establishment from being closed, turned it into an independent enterprise and implemented a strict recovery programme in record time. The jigsaw pieces of know-how were reorganised and have been decisive for the company’s success to this day. The unique combination of knowledge in the areas of optics, precision mechanics, electronics, software and assembly technology is the USP of the WILD Group, whose customers include international market leaders from the areas of medical and industrial engineering, as well as optical technologies. Even after he handed over the management of the WILD Group to his son Alexander in 2013, for him to be able to exclusively dedicate himself to art, Herbert Liaunig constantly remained close to the company.