Hawa – Mourning for Otto Haab
Swiss company Hawa Sliding Solutions AG is mourning for its founder, Otto Haab. The entrepreneur passed away on November 3, 2023 at the age of 88. Otto Haab started the company together with Karl Haab in 1965. On an area of just five square meters, with no funds, but with a tremendous amount of trust from their parents and an equal amount of motivation, the brothers started with the goal of revolutionizing sliding systems. They practiced a social style of leadership right from the start, whereby all employees communicated with each other on equal terms.
Karl and Otto Haab had a decisive influence on the development of sliding systems on furniture, in interior design and on façades. In the 1960s they invented plastic coated rollers, which have characterized the quiet sliding characteristics of the sliding door hardware to this day. They presented the first pivot/slide-in hardware back in the 1970s with the “Hawa Turnaway”. A global success story began in the 1980s with the “Hawa Junior” and the two-way suspension. The “Variotec” curve technology for glass sliding walls and the floor guide with zero clearance were among the milestones of the 1990s. The takeover of EKU AG in Sirnach also took place during this time. A significant generation change then took place in 2001. Otto and Karl Haab stepped back from operative business and entrusted the company to their sons, Gregor and Heinz.
Karl and Otto Haab laid the foundations for what Hawa is today: A globally leading manufacturer of innovative sliding hardware systems with more than 350 patents. Whereas cabinet maker Karl looked after technical product development, banker Otto Haab devoted himself to administrative tasks, managed the sales and marketing and successfully reached out to joiners/cabinet makers and specialist hardware dealers at home and abroad. He was active on the board of the VSSB – Verband der Schweizerischen Schloss- und Beschlägefabrikanten (Association of Swiss Locks and Builders Hardware Suppliers) for several years, including three years as its president.
In this barn, on an area of just five square meters, with no funds, but with a tremendous amount of trust from their parents and an equal amount of motivation, the brothers started with the goal of revolutionizing sliding systems.
Karl and Otto Haab laid the foundations for what Hawa is today: A globally leading manufacturer of innovative sliding hardware systems with more than 350 patents. Picture: The headquarters in Mettmenstetten, Switzerland.
Otto Haab always felt a connection to his home town of Mettmenstetten. He was active on the local council from 1962 to 1970, and was the president from 1974 to 1978. Otto Haab was appreciated on the council, within the company and by businesses partners for his professional skills and his human nature, even after stepping back from operative company management.
He was always enthusiastic and highly interested in the development of the company and resolving social problems. He set up a non-profit family foundation in 2005. He relied on his staunch Christian convictions in all aspects of his business life. Otto Haab was modest and warm-hearted. The employees, the management and the board of directors will remember him with honor and gratitude.Hawa Sliding Solutions today