The second generation - Olaf van der Lely
Olaf van der Lely, the second son of company founder Cornelis van der Lely, finished his training as a mechanical engineer at the Technical University of Zurich in 1982 and then joined the Lely company. In 1992 Olaf became the company’s CEO: ’the innovative drive as well as the decentralised management approach were the company’s critical success factors’.
Under his leadership, Lely shifted its focus to dairy farmers and enhanced its investments in robotic technology. The introduction of the Lely Astronaut robotic milking system and the start of its market development constituted a great milestone for Olaf. At the end of 2004 Olaf decided to pursue other avenues outside the agricultural business.