German company Faber-Castell founded by Kaspar Faber in 1761 is named and famed for producing high-quality pencils, pens, watercolors etc. The company has a history of 250 years and is still run by the family of Faber. It is his 9th generation that is currently running the business with 7, 500 employees with locations in nine countries.
The managing director of Faber Premium in an interview to CNBC’s Lasting Legacy told, "There's a lot of complexity, and that's what really differentiates us today, is that we have such a broad range of products." He added, "You know, we're not just a pencil manufacturer, we have over three-and-a-half, four thousand products."
Charles' father, Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell passed away earlier this year was made the head of the business in 1978. His influence runs deep. Charles said, "I always looked up to my father very much."
"He reminds me … (of) his father, he is really a little bit like him, especially very patient and very curious," Rolf Schifferens, managing director of Castell Europe, said. "This passion – you see, you feel, and for me it's a lot of fun to see that. He is really like his father."
Faber-Castell company history
Charles von Faber-Castell's stepmother, Mary von Faber-Castell, is also into the family business. Charles said, "It was a very tough thing that we went through with my father." "These sort of situations … make you realize as a family that you have to stick together, that was ultimately the wish of my father too." "Weeks before he passed, he said the most important thing is that the family holds together."
Mary von Faber-Castell said, "My husband left very large shoes, and that's the reality." The family is now looking to appoint a new CEO for the company and they prefer an outsider.
Mary said, "The obvious thing is you don't know the DNA of the CEO, when you choose a family member you already pretty much know their weaknesses and strengths, when you hire somebody it's a big risk." She further said, "The person is not inheriting the company, they're getting a job, and that's the big difference."
Talking about the company, Charles stated that the history and quality of the Faber-Castell brand would stand it in good stead, despite the ever-changing world we now live in.
He further said, "What we've seen more recently is that … with people being confronted with so much technology and almost being overwhelmed with it, that they tend to go back to traditional products and traditional brands."