Mr. Dov Lautman was the founder of Delta in 1975.
Mr. Lautman was born in Tel Aviv in 1936, the son of Sarah and David and the young brother of Arie. As a teenager he moved to Pardess Hana, where he graduated from an agriculture high school. His friends from that period will be a part of his social life from then onwards.
After his service at the IDF, he left to study at the Boston, where received a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. While there, Dov met Rachel, his beloved wife.
After graduating from MIT, Mr. Lautman returned to Israel and began his career with Sabrina Textiles, Ltd., serving as Director-General from 1963-1967. In 1967 he was appointed as Director-General of Gibor Textile Industries Ltd., a position he remained in until 1975 when he founded Delta.
Throughout the years his management and leadership skills were second to none. He had a clear vision of what the Company should be like; people from various backgrounds, cultures and believes working side by side to achieve common goals. Dov’s ongoing search for an innovative concept that will fulfill consumer needs and exceed customers request drove Delta’s success and helped the Company reach new heights.
In 1988 Sara Lee Corporation became a partner in Delta Galil Industries until 2005, when the Company sold its shares to GMM Capital, owned by Mr. Isaac Dabah, who became Dov’s friend and partner. Lautman served as the Chair of the Board of Directors and as the major shareholder until 2007 when, due to his illness from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), he sold his controlling interest in the company to GMM Capital. Despite the fact that he left his position at Delta, Mr. Lautman is considered to be one of the founders of modern Israeli industry and a pioneer of advanced technology and exporting.
Mr. Lautman was an eminent member of Israel’s community of industrialists who were involved in public affairs. He served as the President of the Manufacturers Association of Israel and as the Chairman of the Coordinating Bureau of Economic Organizations from 1986-1993. From 1993 until June 1995, Mr. Lautman served as the Prime Minister’s Special Emissary for Economic Development in Yitzhak Rabin’s government.
Mr. Dov Lautman saw the promotion of education as both a personal and a national mission. In 2008 he founded the Lautman Fund to invest in educational equality between Jews and Arabs in Israel. He was also the founder and Chair of the Movement for the Advancement of Education in Israel (Hakol Hinuch) which is a wide coalition of educators, business leaders, academicians, and representatives of the Third Sector. As part of his community activities, Lautman acted as president of three educational funds that operate in various under-privileged neighborhoods around Israel. Lautman was also Executive Chairman of the Peres Center for Peace, a distinguished member of the Yitzhak Rabin Center, and the Deputy Chairman of the Abraham Fund.
In 2007, Dov Lautman was awarded the distinguished Prize of Israel for his great contribution to the State of Israel and for his lifetime achievements.
During the years, Mr. Lautman was a recipient of numerous awards and prizes, among them:
> An Honorary Doctorate from the Technion Institution
> An Honorary Doctorate from the Tel-Aviv University
> An Honorary Doctorate from the Rupin Academic School
> An OBE by the Queen of England
> The Ramniceanu Prize in Economics from Tel-Aviv University for his contribution to Israel’s economy,
> The Max Perlman Award of Excellence in Global Business Management,
> An award from the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry for his involvement in promoting bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.
> The Chaim Herzog award for special contribution to the State of Israel in the field of promoting unity and co-existence between Jews and Arabs.
> An Honorary Fellowship from The Open University for his important contribution to advancing the Israeli economy, as a leading industrialist, and for his dedicated work on behalf of countless organizations promoting quality education and helping the disadvantaged.
Mr. Lautman passed away on November 22nd 2013, at the age of 77. Hundreds of people attended his funeral including the President of Israel, Ministers, Cabinet members, business leaders, Delta associates, friends and family. He was known and loved by people across the country, regardless of their ethnicity and political views.
Dov Lautman was indeed a very unique person; a leader, an entrepreneur, a father to Adi and Noam but also to many Delta associates. His vision for Delta as an innovative and multicultural company will be a guide line for all of us at Delta forever.