Capital: € 2 billion
Age: 63
Born: May 27, 1956
Country of origin: Germany
Source of wealth: Entrepreneurs
Last updated: 2023


Clemens Tönnies is a business entrepreneur and sports official from Germany. He owns the Zur Mühlen Group and in part the Tönnies Grocery Group. He also chairs the board of the FC Schalke 04 football club. He lives in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, is married for the second time and has two children.

Early life

Clemens Tönnies was born on May 27, 1957 in Rheda in the North Rhine-Westphalian district of Gütersloh. He comes from a rather humble background. His father worked as a butcher and Clemens grew up as one of six siblings (two brothers and four sisters). After finishing school, he completed professional training as a meat technician and businessman. From an early age he showed an interest in economic contexts and profitable business. The relationship with his brother Bernd played an important role. He founded a meat and sausage wholesaler in Rheda in 1971. Clemens joined the business and together they established B. & C. Tönnies Fleischwerk GmbH & Co. KG on the market.


With clever and prudent management, Bernd and Clemens managed to make the joint company one of the largest meat producers on the continent. One reason for the success was the division of tasks and the hierarchical order that prevailed between the brothers and which Bernd saw as the head of the company. As the company grew rapidly and the capacity of the location was no longer sufficient in the hometown, the company moved to neighboring Herzebrock. In 1977 the production possibilities there were no longer sufficient and extensions had to be made. Due to the continued success and constant expansion, the brothers decided in 1992 to move both the company headquarters and the production facility to Rheda-Wiedenbrück. The company continued to grow by cleverly buying up other competitors. Today the company is one of the largest slaughterhouses in Germany. Since the brother’s death in 1994, Clemens Tönnies has been the sole managing director. The company now has more than 8,000 employees and 25 foreign offices. It has an export share of 50%. The annual turnover amounts to well over 4 billion euros.

Career highlights

Measured by the number of pork slaughterings, the company is not only one of the largest in Germany, but it is also number 1 in Germany with more than 16 million slaughterings. In April 2019, Clemens Tönnies ranked 1349th on the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people and 85th on the list of the wealthiest Germans. His economic success has also given him recognition and trust in other areas. He has been a member of the Schalke 04 supervisory board since 1994. In 2001 he became Chairman of the Supervisory Board, which he still is today. Through his work, he is jointly responsible for the success of the football club. Since the beginning of his time on the supervisory board, Schalke 04 has played continuously in the 1st Bundesliga. The Schalke managed to become runner-up five times. In 1997 Schalke 04 won the UEFA Cup. The DFB Cup was won three times with Clemens Tönnies on the Supervisory Board (2001, 2002, 20011).

Famous quotes

“I go through life awake.”, “The important thing for the company I speak for is that we are fully capable of acting. The rules in the contracts are such that we can act and do the right thing for the company. And we always stick to the rules. ”

“I am committed to the company and its employees and I do my job in such a way that it is the right thing to develop the company. That is my job, also for the shareholders. And I will continue to do so. ”

Success tips

For Clemens Tönnies, a healthy sense of reality is a guarantee of success. He doesn’t build castles in the air and lives in Wolkenkuckucksheim, but calculates and calculates in order to be successful. It is very important for him to stand with both feet in life and to actively perceive the world that surrounds him. He is down-to-earth and well aware of his home and origin. Respectful treatment of everyone is one of the most important values for him, according to which he lives and acts.


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