Dr Hermann Simon, C.B.E. Chairman of Evode Holdings Ltd., who died on September 8 aged 78, started his business career manufacturing bituminous materials, building chemicals and surface coatings.
A doctor of chemical engineering he was born in Germany and came to Britain shortly before the war. He joined Spic and Span Polishes Limited in 1938 as a director and chemist. As a result of his influence the company embarked upon a diversification programme, adding to their range of polishes, which were sold under the name of 'Dove' chemically based waterproofing products. Subsequently, the company's name was changed to Spic and Span Chemical Products Ltd, and later to the Dove Chemical Co. Ltd.
During World War II Dr Simon developed, for the government, methods of gas proofing and waterproofing food stores and waterproofing emergency water storage tanks and his company was commissioned to implement these systems.
The company also developed a concrete additive, Evo-Set, which enabled the Air Ministry to continue to lay new runways right through the winter months.
The name of the company was eventually changed to Evode Chemical Works Limited and Dr Simon became its Chairman and Managing Director in 1945. The company started to manufacture adhesives in the early 1950s and its impact adhesive 'Impact' became the brand leader.
Under Dr Simon's guidance, and in no small measure due to his personal enthusiasm and drive, his company grew from employing six people in a small rented building to an international group of companies manufacturing adhesives, materials for the shoe industry, and a wide range of products for the building and civil engineering industries.
Today, Evode's headquarters in Stafford are set in some 26 acres of freehold land. The Group employs over 1,000 people. Its products are sold in virtually every country in the world and Evode has subsidiary companies in France, Canada, U.S.A., Germany and Ireland as well as partly owned companies in Mexico and South Africa.
Dr Simon travelled extensively overseas on behalf of his company, and in 1974 was created O.B.E. for his services to British Exports. He was President of the British Adhesive Manufacturers Association. He played both hockey and chess of county standard and was for many years president of the Stafford Chess Club
A widower, Dr Simon leaves a son Andrew who is vice-chairman of Evode Holdings Ltd., and two daughters.