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Gerd Hoppe was born in 1960 and studied communications engineering at TU Dortmund University before starting his career in machine engineering at Mannesmann Demag in Wetter, Germany. Later he served as the Head of Development at Steinel, an electronics firm in Herzebrock, Germany. Gerd Hoppe joined Beckhoff Automation in 1994. After holding positions in Sales, Product Management and Export, he was Managing Director of Beckhoff Automation in North America from 1998 to 2003. Since mid-2003 Gerd Hoppe has been a member of the executive management team at Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG. He is responsible for business strategy, global key accounts, strategic consulting, contract management and IP management. Gerd Hoppe was a board member of the VDMA Electrical Automation Association and currently represents Beckhoff Automation as one of the founding enterprises in the GAIA-X Foundation which supports the European Data Space Initiative.