One of the most successful managers worldwide, a friend of Bulgaria and an honorary member of the Bulgarian Industrial Association - Fil Filipov, has passed away at the age of 76 after an illness.
Fil Filipov was born in Strelcha. At the age of 17 he flees from Bulgaria, goes through a refugee camp in Greece, then immigrates to the United States. His career goes from the lowest step as a worker to the top of the management, true to the motto: “Take control! Take the risk! Achieve success.”
In 1966, Fil Filipov started working as a sweeper in the International Harvestar Lifting Company. Gradually he rose and in 1979 was sent to the company’s office in Paris. 10 years later he left and started his own business - he buys companies in a bad state and revives them with brutal discipline. His specialty is the revival of losing enterprises. He has worked successfully in France, the UK, Germany, Italy and the United States, using untraditional and original approaches. He recovered 49 enterprises and one of the latter was Atlas in Germany, which later became the owner of the Tatra Motor Company (Czech Republic).
Filipov has factories in 15 countries, incl. Germany, China, Mexico, France and Bulgaria. One of his recent investments is the purchase in 2017 of the French metallurgical plant TIM, which was declared liquidated, but Filipov saved nearly 500 jobs, and currently TIM’s main customer is the American giant in heavy construction equipment Caterpillar. Despite his success in the Western corporate world, Fil Filipov is not very well known in Bulgaria, but is among the few Bulgarians who have reached the top of the corporate hierarchy in the United States.
Besides being a very successful entrepreneur on both sides of the Ocean, Fil Filipov was also one of the great donors in the Bulgarian community. One of the great causes he supported until the end was the Bulgarian church “St. Sofia” in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines. Filipov also participated in the delegation that presented the Bulgarian community in the USA to the Illinois Congress 5 months ago.
On April 16, 2019, Fil Filipov visited the Bulgarian Industrial Association, where he officially received a certificate of honorary membership of BIA.
For the BIA team, the meeting with him will remain among the most exciting in the history of the organization. Our sincere condolences to his lovely wife Veronique and the entire family. We believe that people like Fil Filipov are a gift from fate and that through their deeds, they will always live in our hearts!
A deep bow before his bright memory!
Fil Filipov's interview for the magazine of the Bulgarian Industrial Association "Noblesse Oblige"
Photo gallery from his visit to BIA.
We share a few quotes by Fil Filipov from his interview for the BIA magazine "Noblesse Oblige":
- “I don't want to be loved, I go where something need to be saved. But I don't think I'm hated either. I am respectable.”
- “Salvation is in the one who can cut deep enough, if necessary 15 times, because it hurts. You have to be able to cut deep enough to save.”
- “Trade unions are the result of bad management. When there are bad managers, there are strong trade unions. When there are strong managers, there are no trade unions.”
- “I recognize Japan and Germany as industrial countries that have achieved economic growth after being completely destroyed by the war, only thanks to two things - discipline and quality.”
- “No one has died from work. There is no other way.”
- “I don't care who someone is, what ethnicity he is from, how old he is, what kind of education he has, etc. - for me it is important that he is responsible, motivated and capable.”