Published 06 Jan 2021
It is with sadness that we share with you the news of the passing away of our former Managing Board Chairman, Hans van Liemt (87).
After studying law at the Leiden University, Hans joined our company in 1958. He devoted 35 years of his life to DSM and led our company as Chairman of the Managing Board from 1984 to 1993.
Hans started his career at DSM at Legal Affairs and Commercial Business in 1958. He progressed to Company Secretary and led the division Chemical Participations. In 1973 he became a member of DSM’s Managing Board and ultimately Chairman of the Managing Board in 1984 to 1993. Hans was decorated with the Dutch and Belgian Royal Distinctions “Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion” (1981) and “Commander in the Order of Leopold II” (1991). When Hans retired, he was decorated as “Commander in the Order of Orange Nassau” (1993) and received the “Badge of Honor” by the Province of Limburg.
Hans was instrumental in the first phase of the transformation of DSM, from a traditional mining company into an innovative chemicals company with a clear focus on R&D, laying the foundation for DSM’s successful transformation into the Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living company it is today. As Chairman, he steered the state-owned company “De StaatsMijnen” towards a privately-owned company with DSM’s listing on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (currently Euronext Amsterdam) in 1989. At the time, the IPO was the biggest introduction in the history of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
Hans was known as a visionary businessman with a clear direction and a deep-rooted appreciation for his employees, their wellbeing, their development and their future, retaining the heritage of DSM. He was well-respected both within DSM and outside the company. Hans held numerous board positions in Dutch companies and organizations, including ABN AMRO, Brand Bier, Gamma Holding, Gasunie, Hollandsche Betongroep NV, Océ-van der Grinten NV, Sara Lee/Douwe Egberts, Stienstra, VNU and the foundations Preferente Aandelen KNP BT and Philips, Samenwerkende Revalidatie Centra Limburg and Nijmegen University.
Hans had a passion for art and has been instrumental in preserving and building up DSM’s art collection, the oldest corporate art collection in the Netherlands. Hans also had a passion for soccer and was chairman of the Dutch Premiere League football club Fortuna Sittardia Combinatie (Fortuna Sittard) in the late sixties and early seventies.
We remember Hans with a great deal of respect, affection and gratitude for his vision, his wisdom, his dedication, his kindness and his humanity, and our thoughts go out to his wife Mariëtte, his (grand)children, his family and loved ones.
On behalf of the current and former members of the Executive Committee, Managing Board, Supervisory Board, and all colleagues.
Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze
Co-CEOs Royal DSM