Family business continuity: Moritz Ritter of Ritter Sport

Name: Moritz Ritter – Ritter Sport
Sector: Confectionary and Energy
Market: Global
Founded date: 1912

Moritz sits on the junior advisory board of the famous Ritter Sport chocolate company, and two other companies in the group. Unlike his father, who was expected to go straight into the family business, Moritz had the freedom to choose his own path, and opted to train as a computer scientist, before doing advanced research in robotics at the Fraunhofer Institute: “A generation ago, things were very different. Back then, the company more or less dominated family life, it was very much the focus and it limited my father considerably. He wanted to spare me and my siblings from that constraint.”

He still found his way to the family company. Not the famous Ritter Sport company, but the ambitious Ritter Energie- und Umwelttechnik which was set up in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, which devastated the Ritter Sport hazelnut crop in Turkey. This inspired Moritz’s father to start looking for sustainable alternatives to nuclear energy, and 25 years later the business is a leading supplier of renewable energy technologies.

His father’s request to join the company came at a time when Moritz became a father himself and topics like sustainability and the continuity of his family’s legacy gained new significance. “I said ‘Yes, I’d be happy to come on board. I want to do my bit in continuing the company’s development.” Having several years’ experience behind him was also a great help in establishing his credibility: “My career path outside of the family company meant I wasn’t just ‘the junior’, as I had already gained my own experience outside the company. Nonetheless, stepping into a role with a great deal of responsibility was very intense. But my father was a reliable backup who stood by and supported me during the initial period.”

Moritz is now involved in the management of Ritter Energie- und Umwelttechnik, It’s a cause that Moritz is really committed to, and where his scientific education can be put to good use: “Yes, energy supply is a topic that I care a great deal about personally. People are prepared to wage wars over oil or operate highly risky technologies like atomic energy on a huge scale. The demand for energy is therefore huge. My motivation and drive is satisfying this demand with truly excellent, sustainable high-tech solutions. I am particularly excited by our subsidiary Ritter XL Solar, which has specialised in solutions for industrial heating processes.”