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Monika Walser, de Sede CEO: "It's not always easy with me" Monika Walser, de Sede CEO: "It's not always easy with me" Monika Walser, de Sede CEO: "It's not always easy with me"
Monika Walser is not a woman who beats around the bush. The CEO of the Swiss furniture manufacturer de Sede and former head of the iconic brand Freitag prefers to be direct. Since arriving at de Sede four years ago, she has led the indebted company back into the black. How did she manage that "open heart surgery" as she puts it, and how does her team react to her straightforward leadership tactics? Find out in this week's Executive Talk with editor in chief Urs Gredig.
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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.
Urs Gredig
Ava founder Lea von Bidder: “We have a diversity issue in the start-up world”
Last year, Lea von Bidder, the designated CEO of Ava, a Zurich- and San Francisco-based start-up specializing in women’s digital health care, was the only Swiss named in Forbes’s annual “30 Under 30” list. Von Bidder talks to us about being one of the few female executives in her field and why being from Switzerland can be asset, even in Silicon Valley.
Urs Gredig
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
Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan: How to be a boss in an “unbossed” company
The American-born Harvard doctor has been at the head of the Swiss pharmaceutical company since February of last year, and he didn’t lose any time changing the corporate culture of the company. Why does he think innovation should come from the bottom and how does wearing jeans and no tie help make him a better executive?
Urs Gredig
Venture capital pioneer Gina Domanig: Swiss start-ups “could achieve a lot more”
In the year 2000, American-born Gina Domanig founded Emerald Technology Ventures, the first independent cleantech venture capital fund in Europe. Today, her company has more than 60 investments in emerging industrial technology leaders, and she serves on several company boards in Switzerland. How does she make the right investment decisions and why are Swiss businesses tough customers for venture capital?
Urs Gredig
"We stand out because the rest is quite bad,” says H. Moser CEO
Edouard Meylan, CEO of watchmaker H. Moser & Cie., knows how to build buzz, be it by making models out of cheese or by speaking out against a lack of government support for the industry. How does this rebel from a traditional watch family come up with his ideas and is it more than just smart PR?
Urs Gredig
The CEO of AMAG can be a “really nasty guy”
The CEO of AMAG Group can be a “really nasty guy,” when he’s not happy. Morten Hannesbo revealed this when we talked to him about how he gives a long leash but still controls things. Morten Hannesbo has led AMAG, the biggest automotive company in Switzerland, for nine years, but it’s sometimes been a bumpy road for the Dane. During the 2015 VW emission scandal, for instance, he had to be in constant crisis management mode. How does he cope with the pressure and what drives this car aficionado?
Urs Gredig
Logitech’s Bracken Darrell: The CEO who once fired himself
Since the American took over as president and CEO of Logitech, the Swiss technology accessories company has known only one direction: up! So what’s Bracken Darrell’s key to success and how did his modest upbringing in western Kentucky shape him as an executive.
Urs Gredig
Migros chairman: Our founder was a disruptor like Jeff Bezos
Andrea Broggini, the chairman of Migros, Switzerland’s largest retailer and private employer, talks about the complexity of his job, the challenges in the industry, and the threat of new disruptors.
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