Combi steamers and oven manufacturer Rational AG has announced that its founder Siegfried Meister has passed away at the age of 78, following a short illness.

Supervisory board member Walter Kurtz will assume temporary chairmanship of the board.

The company said that its supervisory board, management board and all employees will mourn for an “exceptional entrepreneur”.

“The well-being of the ‘entrepreneurs in the company’, as he viewed his employees, was very important to Mr Meister,” said chief executive of Rational AG Dr Peter Stadelmann. “This makes us all the more sad about our great loss, and we are committed to continuing his lifetime’s work in his spirit.”

Since 1998, Meister has acted as chairman of the supervisory board and, in 2000, floated Rational AG on the stock exchange. In this role, he also assisted the company with his extensive experience and expertise.

Meister started producing convection ovens in Landsberg, Germany over 40 years ago, aiming to make the work of people who prepare hot food in professional kitchens easier. Rational AG said that he offered the company’s customers maximum benefit.