Sunday, August 27, 2006

Business: German Brothers

What is it about German brothers who start a business together that causes them to feud and create competing companies?

The Aldi supermarket chain was founded in 1948 by Karl and Theo Albrecht. They split up in 1962 because one wanted to sell cigarettes at the checkout counters and the other didn't. So now it's Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud.

adidas was founded by Adolf Dassler; Puma was founded by his brother Rudolf after a mysterious falling out.

And then there was the Austrian house-painting firm of W. & A. Hitler, who parted acrimoniously because Werner thought they should use an undercoat of lead-based paint, and Adolf thought they should invade Poland.

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