In 1901, Hans Grohe, born in Luckenwalde near Berlin on May 14, 1871, founded the company in Schiltach / the German Black forest region. As a three-man operation, the company began producing metal pressing products, e.g. parts of watches, brass pans and sheet metal showers, but soon concentrated on sanitary metal ware. Export started with the first delivery to Amsterdam, Netherlands in January 1907. By 1919, 3 office clerks and 48 production employees worked for the company.
Hans Grohe started to use a new brass pressing procedure in 1929 and began to chromium-plate his products in 1930. Four years later, his son Friedrich Grohe left the company and took over a company in Hemer, North Rhine-Westphalia, in 1936. While his father Hans concentrated on showers and draining technology, Friedrich Grohe focused on fittings. The company today is known as Grohe AG.
In 1968, Klaus Grohe, the youngest son of Hans Grohe, joined the father’s company and took over its management in 1975. In 1977, he introduced the word and figurative mark Hansgrohe. Under his company leadership, Hansgrohe started to work with external designers in the late 1960s, including Hartmut Esslinger (frog design) and later on Phoenix Design and Philippe Starck. Klaus Grohe also reached out to explore new market segments: In 1981 Hansgrohe began producing faucets and introduced a greywater recycling system in 2001.
In 1984, the Friedrich Grohe family, one of the three shareholders at the time, together with the Hans Grohe Junior family, and the Klaus Grohe family, sold their third of shares to the US investment company Masco Corporation from Taylor, Michigan. In 1999, the Hans Grohe Junior family equally sold their shares to the Masco Corporation, making them majority shareholder, and leaving the Klaus Grohe family as the only family shareholder of the company with today 32% of the shares. In 2012, Hansgrohe became a European stock corporation (Societas Europaea SE), which is not listed on the stock exchange.
After having been member of the management board for 33 years, Klaus Grohe took over the position as director of the supervisory board in 2008. Since 2015, he has been honorary chairman of the board. In October 2014, Thorsten Klapproth became chairman of Hansgrohe, following Siegfried Gaensslen. Two grandsons of company founder Hans Grohe, Richard and Philippe Grohe, were active in the operative business until October 2016. Since then, the founding family supports the company exclusively from a shareholder position, through their representation in the Supervisory Board of Hansgrohe SE.