Benedikt Germanier: From top banker to renegade ski entrepreneur  Benedikt Germanier: From top banker to renegade ski entrepreneur  Benedikt Germanier: From top banker to renegade ski entrepreneur
Former researcher Benedikt Germanier swapped his banking career for the slopes and the challenge of being CEO of the ski manufacturer ZAI. We talked to Germanier about what he wants to achieve with his premium brand and how the financial crisis in 2008 shaped him as a businessman. He also revealed why, despite taking a pay cut and working more than ever, he is happier than he ever was working for a bank.
Urs Gredig
Jos Dijsselhof: The EU doesn’t understand how Switzerland works
SIX is in full transformation mode under the helm of CEO Jos Dijsselhof. He sheds light on the overhaul process: “The hardware is there, but the real impact still has to come.” He also says that the reason the Swiss-EU framework agreement has been unsuccessful thus far is because the EU doesn’t fully understand how Switzerland works.
Urs Gredig
Dieter Meier: “There’s a fine line between passion and addiction”
Dieter Meier calls himself a “lazy guy,” but his wide-spanning career seems anything but. After founding the band Yello, Meier headed to Argentina to raise cattle and produce wines for his successful restaurants. Meier even played professional poker, an experience that taught him about taking risks. He tells Urs Gredig all about his latest gamble: taking on the chocolate industry.
Urs Gredig
Jean-Claude Biver: “My ego has been satisfied for quite some time”
There’s arguably not another watch executive as legendary—and disruptive—as Jean-Claude Biver. The Luxembourg-born visionary has been on the cutting edge of the industry for almost five decades. What makes this maverick tick and why does he believe in love as a pivotal management strategy?
Urs Gredig
André Kudelski: A disruptive mind in an ever-changing business world
As CEO and chairman, André Kudelski has headed up his technology company for 30 years. In that time, he’s had to transform and disrupt his business model several times. How does he manage change, where does he see Switzerland in a global perspective, and how can the Kudelski Group maintain its status as a world leader in digital security?
Urs Gredig
Economiesuisse director: “It’s liberating to be able to speak out”
Monika Rühl is a trained diplomat with a successful career in the Swiss federal administration. Now, as head of the business association Economiesuisse, she finds herself as a spokesperson in the midst of all the big discussions—and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Urs Gredig
Thomas Borer: “I don’t feel offended if someone calls me a lobbyist”
As former Swiss ambassador to Germany and head of the 1990s’ task force “Switzerland—Second World War,” Thomas Borer is used to dealing with difficult situations. Now a strategic consultant, Borer has some compelling ideas about how Switzerland should deal with the European Union.
Urs Gredig
Two-time advertiser of the year: “I’m not a good lazy person”
Regula Bührer Fecker has been named as one of the 100 most important business figures in Switzerland as well as one of the 100 most successful Swiss under 40. Find out how the advertising executive stays creative and why she thinks young businesswomen lack good role models.
Urs Gredig
Rivella CEO: “I’m not a guy who wants to control everything”
Erland Brügger has led the most iconic Swiss drinks company for over 10 years. The marketing expert talks about being CEO of a family-owned business, the difficulty of promoting Rivella abroad, and why hard talks with his father helped him become a better executive.
Urs Gredig
Carl Elsener of Victorinox: “We think in generations, not in quarters”
The man behind the famous Swiss army knife is known as one of the most socially conscious entrepreneurs in Switzerland. For Carl Elsener, respect for his employees, his customers, and the over 130-year-old family tradition is at the core of everything Victorinox does.
Urs Gredig
Nestlé chairman Paul Bulcke on criticism: “High trees catch more wind”
This year marks Paul Bulcke’s 40th anniversary at Nestlé. The former CEO and current chairman of the world’s biggest food and beverage company speaks about his leadership values, how he faces criticism, and why working in many different countries has helped him to stay grounded, an asset since, according to him, “egos are not good” in corporate life.
Urs Gredig
Serial entrepreneur Cédric Waldburger: “I take ‘nerd’ as a compliment”
Cédric Waldburger started his first company when he was 14 and has invested in a variety of projects ever since, from an online tailor in Hong Kong to a Swiss sex-toy shop. The self-proclaimed geek and founder of Tenderloin Ventures talks about his business ideas as well as his minimalistic lifestyle as a digital nomad who owns less than 64 things.
Urs Gredig
Hotel executive Tanja Wegmann: “I’m more relaxed than 10 years ago”
The general manager of the Grand Hotel les Trois Rois in Basel has returned to the oldest city hotel in Europe after working in other industries. Does she manage her staff differently compared to 10 years ago and how have her leadership values changed over time?
Urs Gredig
Jürg Marquard: “I made a lot of money, but I also lost a lot of money”
In 1965, Jürg Marquard launched what would eventually become his eponymous publishing company with a small loan from friends. More than 50 years later, his multimillion dollar media group remains one of the most successful in the industry. And he’s not about to stop working any time soon.
Urs Gredig
Parmigiani CEO: “Watchmaking is the true expression of the Swiss way”
Davide Traxler has worked for several prestigious watch companies in his career. Now he’s at the helm of Parmigiani Fleurier, one of the very few Swiss watchmakers that manufacture every component in-house.

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