Bodo Hombach

Bodo Hombach ( born August 19, 1952 in Mülheim an der Ruhr ) is a former German politician (SPD) and publishing executive. It was in 1998 briefly Minister for Economic Affairs, Technology and Transport in North Rhine -Westphalia and from 1998 to 1999 Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Affairs in the first Schröder government. Then Hombach joined as EU Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe to Brussels. In 2002 he became Managing Director based in Essen WAZ media group. Since January 2011, Hombach is moderator of the initiative Ruhr.


Education and work

After training as a telecommunications technician from 1967 to 1970 at the telegraph office in Duisburg Hombach worked from 1970 to 1973 the polytechnic admission on the second chance. Between 1973 and 1978 he studied at the Fachhochschule Dusseldorf and at the Comprehensive University of Duisburg and graduated with a degree in social workers. Later, he was until 1998 part-time part-time student at the University of Hagen.

From 1973 to 1974, Hombach Secretary of the Postal Workers' Union, 1974-1976 personal assistant to the chairman at the Regional District of North Rhine- Westphalia the German Federation of Trade Unions, 1976-1979 NRW Country Manager of Education and Science Union.

Parallel to the work as a deputy in the NRW state parliament from 1990 to 1998 (cabinet Rough IV (SPD) and Cabinet Rau V (red- green) ) he was in the period from 1991 to 1998 Managing Director of Preussag ( Salzgitter) GmbH and Preussag ( Salzgitter) International GmbH from 1988 to 1998 Member of the Supervisory Board of the Ruhr coal mining AG (formerly Mining AG Lippe, Ruhr coal Westfalen AG). Furthermore, Hombach served from 1995 to 1998 as a member of the Advisory Board of the Working Group on Water Works and from 1996 to 1998 as a member of the Supervisory Board of the Ruhr water AG.

From 1997 to 1998 he was a member of the Economic Advisory Board, RWE Energie AG. In April 2008, Hombach was appointed to the University Council of the University of Hagen.

Since December 2010, Hombach lecturer at the Institute for Political Science and Sociology at the Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. In January 2011, Bodo Hombach, took office as the moderator of the initiative Ruhr, an association of about 70 companies from the area. Since November 2011 he has been honorary president of the Bonn Academy for research and teaching of practical politics ( BAPP ). The Academy is an affiliated institute of the University of Bonn and is intended to promote the exchange between politics, business and science.

Country's politics

After working as a PRO - country manager in NRW Hombach was in the period 1979-1981 Deputy secretary of the SPD state of North Rhine- Westphalia and 1981-1991 Country Manager of North Rhine-Westphalia SPD. His mandate as a Member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Landtag exerted Bodo Hombach 1990-1999 from. In this role, he worked as an economic policy spokesman for the SPD and was chairman of the Committee I.

From 9 June 1998 to October 28, 1998 Hombach was Minister of Economic Affairs, Technology and Transport in North Rhine -Westphalia.

In April 2008 he was appointed by Prime Minister Jürgen Rüttgers (CDU ) as Vice-Chairman in the Commission on the Future of North Rhine-Westphalia state government.

Campaign manager

In the 1980s and 1990s Hombach conducted a series of campaigns conducted by the North Rhine-Westphalia and the federal SPD with and advised on several election campaigns abroad, for example in South Africa with Nelson Mandela .. In the federal election campaign in 1998, he had a larger role as campaign manager in the SPD and was discussed in his role as a consultant by the candidate for chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as one of the first German spin Drs. So he was portrayed, among other things in the newspaper as " The Chancellor Whisperer ". He was regarded as a skilful campaign strategist and creator of the slogan "We in North Rhine -Westphalia ".

Federal policy

Chancellor Gerhard Schröder called Hombach after the election victory in October 1998 as Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks in his cabinet. Hombach was previously close campaign adviser to Schroder and took the offensive concept of " new center". He opposed the policy of Oskar Lafontaine.

Together with the British Peter Mandelson worked Hombach the strategy document " The Way Forward for Europe's social democrats." Published in 1999 draft had become known as the " Blair-Schröder paper ".

European policy

In 1999, Hombach, who was very controversial in the ruling coalition, on the request of his former government official of the Federal agency head to Brussels where he took on the position of the EU Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact in South East Europe. In this role, Hombach was at the head of the Stability Pact and served as Chairman of the so-called Regional Table responsible for the coordination of the three working groups ( Tables) of the organization. This Hombach was responsible for the issues of freedom of the media, infrastructure and the fight against organized crime, corruption and terrorism. As an organizer of the first donor conference in 2000 Hombach gathered approximately 4.7 billion euro for the Balkans. After Hombach change to the WAZ group Erhard Busek was his successor as Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact.

Publishing management

From February 2002 to February 2012 Hombach was as appointed by the family Brost CEO of the WAZ Media Group, in July 2008 together with Christian Nienhaus.

In October, the WAZ Group in 2007 launched the web portal DerWesten which combines the features of the five national newspapers in publishing. In addition, the WAZ media group took over in 2007, the Braunschweiger Zeitung and rose in the same year with the acquisition of the Essen plain text in the book publishing business a. The ZDF was September 2009 a cooperation agreement that video posts of ZDF be included on the news portal DerWesten.

In May 2007, the WAZ Media Group published a code of conduct for employees, according to the provided in the WAZ among other things, a separation of editorial content and advertising.

With the planned new Group strategy should cease to apply when WAZ tracks in North Rhine-Westphalia from 2009, about 260 of the 900 jobs. By July 2009, according to company data 275 employees were laid off. Another points reduction and bundling of activities was planned following it even on the songs in East Germany. The dismissal of the chief editor of the Thüringer Allgemeine Sergei Lochthofen, the Hombach had rejected plans, caused a controversy in the region and in the newsroom.

With the sale of the shares of the heirs of Erich Brost Petra Grotkamp Hombach ended in February 2012, his work as manager of WAZ media group.

Political science

Hombach, lecturer at the Institute for Political Science and Sociology, was in November 2011, President of the Bonn Academy for research and teaching of practical politics. This acts as a so-called associated institute of the University of Bonn. In the winter semester 2012/13 the teaching was to be recorded.

Honors, awards and honorary activities

For his contributions to the vocational education him 1996, the Georg- Schulhoff Prize was awarded.

In July 2002, Hombach was awarded by the European Taxpayers Association with the " European bull". The association had appreciated that Hombach had spent less money than he deserved, according to budget area.

In December 2006, Bodo Hombach was awarded the Order of Merit of North Rhine- Westphalia.

Was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross 1st class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Bodo Hombach by the then Federal President Horst Köhler on 16 November 2009.

Writings and speeches (selection)

  • About the Internet and the delimitation of cultural and temporal habitats. In: Hubert Burda, Döpfner, Bodo Hombach, Jürgen Rüttgers (ed.): 2020 - Thoughts on the future of the Internet. Plain text, Essen, 2010, pp. 239-246. ISBN 978-3-8375-0376-0.
  • Publishers reinvent themselves. Media in the socio-political tensions. Lecture by Bodo Hombach to kick his teaching at the Institute for Political Science and Sociology at the University of Bonn on December 8, 2010 in Bonn.
  • Please Disturb! Newspaper publishers reinvent themselves. Speech by Bodo Hombach before the Committee on Media Policy of the Economic Council of Bavaria on November 11, 2010 in Munich.
  • Collective Intelligence. From the " Rhenish capitalism " from his own future and the need for new thinking. Post by Bodo Hombach in: Knowledge growth values ​​. What Germany needs to do, ed. v. Klaus Engel & Michael Vassiliadis, Hoffmann und Campe Verlag, Hamburg 2010, page 107 - 115
  • On the Silk Road. In: The Bridge Builder - Festschrift for Klaus Mangold, Berlin, 2010, pages 144-145.
  • Rumors kitchen - a blurred dossier. In: epd media 16 October, 2010, Frankfurt / Main, 2010.


In the years 1998 and 1999 Hombach was assumed to have received from the Veba group in the new construction of his own home price reductions in six figures. The case was rolled up by the prosecution Bochum. She came to the conclusion in 1999: "We have no evidence of a criminal conduct of Mr Hombach in connection with this construction. " Hombach even rejected the allegations and indicated that he could submit receipts and there was an investigation into an accounting firm, the designated prices than under the ordinary.

Hombach went to court against the utterances. In proceedings before the Regional Court of Hamburg also the senior engineer was heard, had built in the late 1990s Hombach's house. In the first of 1999, he had Veba gifts first denied but then recanted his earlier statements and was convicted of perjury. In the trial before the District Court of Hamburg, the supervisor explained years later again, he knew nothing about alleged favors Hombach. " It has never spoken to me about it and I have never received documents ". He added, because he felt himself placed in pre-trial detention under pressure the alleged perjury. Also, five other witnesses who had allegedly knew incriminating, could say nothing precise in the process.

In July 2007, Hombach got before the Regional Court of Hamburg in all respondent points right. The LG Hamburg prohibited the utterances Dichand expressly and continued subject to the criminalization clear prohibition barriers to employ these or similar allegations against Hombach. The statements violated the general right of personality Hombach and were capable of it, the court, demean " in quite a considerable extent ." In early 2008, the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg dismissed the appeal as requested by Dichand and a revision was not approved. Dichand appealed against the Court of Appeal judgment complaint to the Federal Court, which was dismissed by order of 16 September 2008.

Hombach later sold the house for 1.3 million. After giving Hans Leyendecker, the costs were the lawyers and appraisers 300,000 €.