The president of Pfeiffer Vacuum, Roland Hellmer, has passed away unexpectedly.

Hellmer suffered a heart attack while riding his road bicycle on July 20, the company announced.

Hellmer joined Pfeiffer Vacuum AG of Asslar, Germany, in 1985, in the Research and Development department. In 1989, he transferred to the US and held the position of product manager and marketing manager for turbomolecular pumps. In 1995, he was promoted to vice-president of marketing at Pfeiffer Vacuum’s North American headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire. As a member of the management team, he was involved in the Pfeiffer Vacuum IPO in July 1996.

In June 1999, he received his Executive MBA from Boston University, while he also held a graduate engineering degree from the Technical College in Weilbury, Germany. In November 1999, he was promoted to executive vice-president and in 2011 was named president of Pfeiffer Vacuum and the newly acquired adixen.

Hellmer was also a member of the board of directors of the American Vacuum Equipment Manufacturers Association.

Pfeiffer Vacuum managing director, Dr. Wiemer, said of the passing, “With the unexpected departure of Roland, we have not only lost a valuable employee, but a dear friend, an excellent leader and a wonderful person who is spirited, caring and loving. He grew and strengthened Pfeiffer Vacuum in the US market, he grew and nurtured his employees and created a very strong team and a big family.”

“With his deep personal commitment, a great deal of skill, and extensive experience, he has embodied and shaped the success of Pfeiffer Vacuum.”

Hellmer lived in Hollis, New Hampshire and is survived by his wife of 27 years, Angelika, and his two daughters, Lisa and Catrina.