Carl Elsener Jr.
CEO of Victorinox
About Carl Elsener Jr.
Carl Elsener, is the great-grandson of Karl Elsener, the founder of Victorinox. He studied business and marketing in Switzerland and abroad – primarily in North America – where he completed numerous further training programs in management and corporate leadership. He has been directly involved in the family business for more than three decades and took over as CEO in 2007. Today, he is leading the company in the fourth generation of the family.
Carl Elsener played a major role in transforming the company from a simple cutler’s workshop to a global multi-product brand. He is a passionate advocate of traditional Swiss heritage and craftsmanship, and is proud that the “Original Swiss Army Knife” has become one of Switzerland’s most well-known ambassadors around the world. Renowned for its quality, functionality, innovation and design, Carl Elsener has dedicated himself to ensuring that the DNA of the little red knife has been incorporated into all other product categories from watches to travel gear to fragrance. His achievements have been rewarded numerous times in the past, with the latest addition being the “Swiss Marketeer of the Year Award” in 2018.
Carl Elsener is a firm believer in humane, sustainable and fair business practices and his business philosophy is the foundation of his success as a business leader: “The founding principle of our company is to produce practical and functional high-quality products for people around the world. Our customers and employees, and the quality of our products, are the cornerstones of our corporate philosophy. The key factors in our long-term success are basic human values like credibility, openness, trust, respect, gratitude, modesty, courage and responsibility.”
Dr. h.c. Thomas Schmidheiny
Chairman, Spectrum Value Management
About Dr. Thomas Schmidheiny
Thomas Schmidheiny is chairman and founder of his family office Spectrum Value Management. Spectrum manages the investments of the Schmidheiny family.
After studying mechanical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), Thomas Schmidheiny began his career in 1970 as Technical Director with Cementos Apasco, a Holcim group company. In 1973 he joined "Holderbank" Financière Glaris Ltd. (which was renamed Holcim in 2001), where he served as Managing Director and Chairman (1978-2001) and Chairman of the Board (1984-2003). Under his leadership, Holcim has grown to a global player in the construction materials industry. On July 15, 2015, Holcim merged with its peer Lafarge to become the new leader of the building materials industry. In 2018, he resigned from the Board of Directors of LafargeHolcim. In recognition of his many years of service to LafargeHolcim, Thomas Schmidheiny was named Honorary Chairman of the Group. He continues to be a principal stockholder of LafargeHolcim.
Thomas Schmidheiny is also a board member and major shareholder of the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz and has wineries in Argentina, California and Switzerland. He received an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Tufts University (USA) and holds an MBA from IMD. His particular interest is philanthropy: he engages in large donations and sponsoring to business schools, arts, education and start-ups through his foundations.