Otto Haas

Otto Haas (1872 - 1960)
©Evonik Industries AG, Corporate archive Hanau

Businessman and entrepreneur, co-founder of Röhm & Haas

Otto Haas, born in Stuttgart on March 15, 1872, completed an apprenticeship as a bank clerk before joining the Stuttgart-based company Siegle & Co. He met Otto Röhm there in 1903. Haas moved to the US but returned in 1906 at Otto Röhm’s request to set up a chemical factory for bating leather in Esslingen am Neckar. The resounding success of Röhm & Haas prompted the pair to move the company’s headquarters to Darmstadt in 1909, in order to be closer to the important leather factories in the Rhine-Main area.

Röhm & Haas expands worldwide

It was Haas who promoted the expansion of Röhm & Haas abroad. In 1909, he established a presence in the US and supplied tanneries there as well as in Australia, Argentina and Japan.

When the United States entered the First World War in 1917, German shares in the US branch were sold off. Otto Haas then incorporated the branch into a separate enterprise: the Rohm and Haas Company.

As a result of the friendship between Otto Röhm and Otto Haas, the connection between the two companies continued until the Second World War. Their close and extensive collaboration was in the interest of both parties.

After the Second World War, the Rohm and Haas Company became one of the most prominent chemical companies in America under the management of Otto Haas' sons. The company is now part of the DOW Group.