Family Affair: Rise of the Mittelstand


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Founded: 1926
Location: Waiblingen, Germany
Employees: 13,800 +

Founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl, the chainsaw and power tool company named after him is based in Waiblingen, southwest Germany. Stihl employs more than 13,800 people across the world, and reported a turnover of 2.8 billion euros in 2013.

The company – which claims to be the "world's leading chainsaw brand" – has a longstanding culture of encouraging innovation, including the development of an anti-vibration system for chainsaws in 1964 and, more recently, a carbide-tipped saw, which Stihl says stays sharper up to four times longer than conventional products.