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His death leaves a void, but also a rich legacy that will continue to inspire generations of Dutch entrepreneurs.

The death of Wim van der Leegte (76), former VDL CEO and major driving force behind the manufacturing industry in Brabant, has also caused a wave of outrage online. sadness and respect causes. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the chairman of the Brainport Foundation, spoke with deep emotion about Van der Leegte's impact on the region and his unwavering belief in the potential of Dutch industry.

Van der Leegte, known for his deep commitment to his family, colleagues, and the Brabant region, is remembered as someone who saw opportunities on a global scale but always remained close to his roots and people. His approach to entrepreneurship, which exhibited a unique combination of knowledge, craftsmanship and humanity, is seen as a key factor in the revival of the Dutch manufacturing industry.

local production

Dijsselbloem emphasized Van der Leegte's belief in the power of local production and his vision that the Netherlands should not only focus on services and logistics, but also on developing a robust manufacturing industry. This vision, which was considered unlikely twenty years ago, was successfully realized by Van der Leegte, resulting in high-quality production facilities that employ thousands of people.

Dijsselbloem further expressed his condolences to Van der Leegte's family, and indicated that his death is not only a loss for his loved ones, but also for the broader community that considered him part of their own family. Van der Leegte's legacy as an inspiring entrepreneur and human being is considered a guideline for future generations

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Photo: Pitane Blue - VDL Eindhoven

“We are deeply saddened by this sudden loss. First of all, Wim has been a wonderful husband, father and grandfather to us. We feel strengthened by the many expressions of sympathy and would like to thank everyone for this. Our dad had great significance for many.”

Wim van der Leegte left an indelible mark on Dutch industry, a legacy that extends beyond his leadership at VDL. His action to take over NedCar, driven by a mix of entrepreneurial spirit and personal commitment, marks a crucial moment in the history of the Dutch manufacturing industry. This move symbolized not only his commitment to the sector, but also his confidence in the Netherlands' ability to compete on the world stage of industrial production.

Under the inspiring leadership of Van der Leegte, VDL transformed into a leading company. A few years ago he passed the baton to his son Willem, leaving behind a solid foundation for future growth and innovation. His ability to lead such a transition while preserving the essence of the company speaks volumes about his leadership qualities.

Van der Leegte's contributions to the Dutch manufacturing industry did not go unnoticed. In 2014, he was royally decorated and appointed Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau, an honor reserved for individuals whose achievements are of exceptional importance to society. This award underlines the significant impact he has had, not only on an economic level but also on the social and cultural fabric of the Netherlands.

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