The founder and former chief executive of E.ON, Ulrich Hartmann has died at 75.

Hartmann is credited as the driving force behind the merger between Veba AG an Viag AG, to form E.ON (FWB: EOAN) in 2000.

Bloomberg reports that Hartmann, known as “Mr. Shareholder Value” from his days as chief financial officer at Veba, exited the telecommunications and chemicals industries to focus on the new company’s business as an electricity provider.

Ulrich Hartmann
“With his courage and vision, with his unmatched combination of strategic consistency and tactical resourcefulness, Ulrich Hartmann over many years left his mark on EON as it was built up and developed into a successful, international and competitive company,” Johannes Teyssen, EON’s CEO, said in a statement.

The merged company acquired U.K. utility Powergen Ltd. in 2002 and took over Ruhrgas AG under ministerial approval a year later to become one of Europe’s biggest utilities, with representation in more than 20 countries.

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