Thinking in generations.
Acting as a family.
Growing as a company.

The Koehler Group has been a family-run company since it was founded in 1807 and remains so to this day.

Koehler is Family

When the company was founded in 1807, the name Koehler stood for a family-run company with an awareness of future generations. This is still the case today: Kai Furler, who has been at the helm since 2007, represents the eighth generation of the family member to run the company. And the Koehler Group CEO has a very clear objective in his sights: to have a positive impact not only on the future of the Koehler Group, but also on the climate, environment, and society, too.

Self-Sufficiency Key to Success

At the Koehler Group, entrepreneurial spirit and family values go hand in hand. That’s why we think in terms of generation to generation instead of quarter to quarter. When we make business decisions, we shine a spotlight on sustainability and future viability, instead of short-term gains.

Stronger Together

The Koehler Group’s corporate culture is based on solidarity, trust, and mutual respect. This applies to the companies within the Group as much as it does to our workforce, customers, and suppliers. Our employees’ long-standing company service and loyalty is also proof that we’re on the right track - some of these are third-generation Koehler Group employees.

The Tradition of Recognition

Every individual plays an important role: Whether it’s our anniversary celebrations or trainee workshops, parties for retirees or children’s Christmas markets, valuing our employees and making them feel included is simply embedded in the Koehler Group’s DNA.

Eight Generations of the Future -
the Koehler Group Family History


1st Generation: Otto Koehler

The beginning of a success story: In 1807 Otto Koehler purchases a small paper mill between Oberkirch and Lautenbach and by doing so founded what was to become a global enterprise.


2nd Generation: Johann Ignaz Koehler

The first paper maker in the Koehler family dynasty. Johann Ignaz Koehler takes over the millstream operations from his father Otto in 1809.


3rd Generation: Franz Ignaz Koehler

At the age of 48, Johann Ignaz Koehler hands the reins of the company to his son Franz, who completed an apprenticeship with him as a paper maker. Franz was responsible for the company’s conversion from manual papermaking to machine paper production.


4th Generation: August Koehler senior

At the tender age of just 19 years old, August Koehler works as a volunteer at the Louis Staffel & Cie. paper factory in Witzenhausen where he becomes acquainted with machine paper manufacturing. At the age of 24 he takes over control of the business from his father. August successfully guides the company into the 20th century, with both the workforce and production capacity soaring.


5th Generation: August Koehler junior

August Koehler joins the firm as his father’s partner. He remains at the helm of the company for over 40 years and successfully steers it through the economic and political storms of the first half of the 20th century.


6th Generation: Werner Koehler

In 1935 Werner Koehler joins his father’s company at the age of 21. On the day his father dies on October 10, 1947, he is the sole member of the joint stock company’s executive board. He consistently pursues the goal of developing new varieties and products with a higher level of finishing in addition to the fine paper range, shifting the focus to coated paper.


7th Generation: Klaus & Wolfgang Furler

In 1973 Werner Koehler, who doesn’t have any children, entrusts his two nephews Klaus and Wolfgang Furler with the commercial and technical management of the company. On January 1, 1978, the board of directors appoints the brothers to the joint stock company’s commercial and technical management board. In 1979 and 1980 they make the most ambitious investment in the company’s history to date, constructing paper machine 5 in Oberkirch.


8th Generation: Kai Furler

On the day the company celebrates its 200th anniversary, brothers Klaus and Wolfgang Furler stand down from the Koehler Group’s board of directors. Kai Furler succeeds his father Klaus to become the eighth-generation family member to run the Group. With the founding of Koehler Renewable Energy, the introduction of production line 8, and the group expansion all under his belt, Kai Furler has set many milestones since taking over—as well as laying the foundation for the second largest pillar of the Koehler Group today: renewable energy.

For more than 215 years, we have run our company responsibly and with an eye to the future.

For more than 215 years, we have run our company responsibly and with an eye to the future.

Kai Furler


of the Koehler Group