We hear many stories of thoughtful and noble gestures in these dark and uncertain times. Ernst Prost, the CEO of Liqui Moly, the high end synthetic oil company known around the world for its involvement in many forms of racing including Formula 1 and for the many lubricant products for everyday vehicles, has made an announcement to forego his salary to preserve jobs.
With many people tightening their belts, this kind gesture is something we are beginning to see from a few companies who value their workers and want to keep them. It is also some good news in a strange time in world history.
Editor’s note: This letter has been translated from German.
Dear fellow entrepreneurs,
The following statement first:
Ladies and gentlemen in the payroll department, going forward, please postpone the payment of my salary. I hereby declare to go without my monthly salary as I can manage without it. We rather should use my salary and other savings to preserve jobs, this includes those of our temporary workers. These ladies and gentlemen are doing an extremely important job, just like the permanent employees and for this reason and for human reasons they can’t be the first to bite the dust. Let me make it clear once again: I do not want to lose anyone, I do not want to leave anyone behind, I do not want to give anyone notice and I do not want to announce short time working.
We create the conditions for this every day through our personal commitment and a great deal of hard work & diligence. In contrast to many other companies and self-employed people, we are in the fortunate position that no one has shut us down and that in we still experience a demand for our products all over the world. Motor oils are systemically important, because even in these times transport companies, police, garbage collection, rescue services, fire brigade and also the post office must remain mobile. That is our good fortune and the rest we do through hard work and dedication. We don’t have to wait for the politicians, we don’t need government checks and we don’t need loans. This is our luck, a blessing and our chance to survive.
It really has to be said that WE in our Liqui Moly/Meguin family belong to the happy people who still have a job, don’t have to fear for their existence and also have a reasonable future prospect. In our two factories in Saarlouis and in Ulm we still produce with two and even three shifts, we have a delivery rate of almost 100%. A few hundred containers have been cancelled, because in some countries nothing goes any more. In spite of everything, we manage to keep the business running but only because we are still selling, taking orders and making deals and staying very closely with our customers in Germany and around the world. Compared to the first quarter of last year, I can report growth of 14%. I don’t know whether it will continue like this, but I do know one thing: If we don’t falter and continue our hard work, if we don’t ask what the company can do for us, but instead ask what we can do for the company and our customers, we will also master the next few months.
Please give everything now, give your best and hang in there like never before. Not for me, not for the company either but for yourself, for your family, for your colleagues and for our thousands of customers all over the world, some of whom are in really bad shape right now.
In humility and gratitude