Since international business executive Martin Richenhagen took the helm at AGCO (an agricultural equipment manufacturer and distributor) in 2006, he’s achieved enormous success in transforming the company into a modern, global contender. In addition to improving the company’s fortunes, Richenhagen has been steadily working at improving his own: with a salary that would make most of us green with envy, political influence, a legion of awards, and a couple of very lucrative sidelines, Martin Richenhagen is certainly a name to watch out for. Learn more with these 10 little known facts about the German millionaire.
1. He’s been named a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur
In 2018, Richenhagen was named a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor). The honor was bestowed during a ceremony at GCO’s global headquarters in Duluth. The award, which was established by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802, is the highest honor accorded by the French government, and is given in recognition of outstanding contribution to the French nation. Dr. Monique Seefried, who presented the Légion d'Honneur on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron, said “I would like to thank Martin Richenhagen for his personal commitment and trust in our country's economy. I pay tribute, through him, to the strength of AGCO Corporation.”
2. He’s helped create nearly 300 new jobs
Richenhagen was appointed President and CEO of AGCO Corporation by the Board of Directors in March 2004. 2 years later on August 15, 2006, he attained the position of Chairman of the Board. Under his leadership, AGCO has gone from strength to strength, expanding into new areas, creating almost 300 new jobs to support growth, and achieving industry recognition with two prestigious awards for Best Foreign Exporter and Factory of the Year in 2016.
3. He’s one of the country’s most admired CEO’s
In 2014, Richenhagen was named as one of the 55 Most Admired CEO’s by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The title was bestowed in recognition of excellent leadership, influence and achievement. “To be selected as one of the Most Admired CEO’s in the Atlanta area is a tremendous honor for me,” Richenhagen shared. “Since joining AGCO about ten years ago, I have been very devoted to running a company that provides the highest quality of services and products to all of our customers.”
4. He’s had an international career
Prior to joining AGGO, Richenhagen’s career covered an extensive range of industries, companies, positions and countries. Previous roles have included senior executive vice president of field operations for Schindler Holding GmbH, group president for CLAAS KgaA mbH (a German farm equipment manufacturer) and executive vice president at Forbo International SA, a Swiss manufacturing firm.
5. He’s getting ready for the digital age
Since taking the helm at AGCO, Richenhagen has implemented numerous new policies focused on streamlining and decentralizing the business. One of the biggest changes has been bringing AGCO in line with the digitization of modern farming. As greater numbers of farmers and dealers start to use digital apps and equipment to improve production, Richenhagen is doing as much as possible to ensure AGCO keeps up with the changing market. “We think that in the future the driving force will be the implements” Richenhagen explained to BCG. “We think that the implements will tell the tractor what to do, will define the speed, will define the turning radius and so on. That’s a major change, but I think this is the next step you will see”.
6. He holds dual citizenship
Richenhagen was born in Cologne, Germany in 1952, but in August 8, 2011, he became an official American citizen. Richenhagen, who can boast being one of only a select few Germans at the helm of a Fortune 500 company, told Dressage News that his many years spent in the States have made him “feel very American,” though his two sons and a daughter “feel more American than I do.”
7. He’s a dressage rider
Outside of overseeing the daily operations of AGCO, Richenhagen is a keen horseman; as a youth, he briefly considered becoming a professional dressage trainer, and despite eventually eschewing the idea, he’s still active in the discipline. Until 2014, the businessman was an international dressage trainer at 4* star level and remains a keen rider in his spare time. Despite his success in the sport, things haven’t always gone to plan, as he revealed to Dressage News,“I was demonstrating to my wife how to ride the horse by doing some flying changes on the diagonal. I went straight, and the horse went left…”
8. He’s not a fan of President Trump
Richenhagen may be many things, but a fan of President Trump he most certainly is not. In 2018, Richenhagen stepped down from his position on the US Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa in reaction to Trump’s dismissal of Foreign Minister Rex Tillerson. The council had been set up by Obama’s predecessor, Barak Obama, to promote economic relations with Africa… under Trump, the council was turned into a vehicle for promoting US exports, much to the chagrin of the disgruntled Richenhagen. The dismissal of Tillerson (who Richenhagen considered one of the last pragmatists and supporters of free trade in the government) proved the last straw for Richenhagen, who left the council with the announcement "There's no point in getting involved there."
9. He’s the publisher of the Reiter Revue International
In November 2017, Richenhagen was appointed to the position of publisher of the German journal, Reiter Revue International. The monthly publication covers topical news in equestrian sports, breeding, training and sporting achievements. At the time of the appointment, Markus Wormman, Editor- in- Chief at the journal, commented "For us, it is a great honor to win over such a renowned and well-known horse man as Martin Richenhagen as editor. In this advisory role, he will jointly develop Reiter Revue as a magazine as well as a strong brand in the equestrian sports segment”.
10. He has a net worth of $38 million
As you’d expect from someone who’s achieved so much in business, Richenhagen is not short of a dime or two. Wall Mine estimates the businessman’s net worth to be at least $37.8 million. In addition to his 1,000 units of AGCO stock (worth an estimated $2,792,651), Richenhagen brings home a yearly salary of $20,648,600 as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer at AGCO…. all of which adds up to a very pretty fortune indeed.
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Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker