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Board of Directors

The Articles of Association of Sonova Holding AG state that the Board of Directors must consist of a minimum of three and a maximum of nine members. The members of the Board of Directors are elected individually by the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting. 

The primary duties of the Board of Directors of Sonova Holding AG are defined in the Swiss Code of Obligations, the Articles of Association as well as the Organizational Regulations and include:

  • Strategic direction and management of the corporation
  • Approval of the policy and the strategy of the Group
  • Establishment of the organization and enactment of management regulations
  • Structuring of the accounting, financial controlling as well as financial planning
  • Appointment and removal of the Management Board and other key executives
  • Ultimate supervision of the operational management entrusted with the management
  • Establishment of the business report as well as the preparation of the Annual General Shareholders' Meeting and the carrying out of its resolutions
  • Notification of the judge in case of over-indebtedness

Board of Directors

Robert Spoerry, Chairman, non-executive member
Chairman, non-executive member

Robert F. Spoerry

Nationality: Switzerland

Born: 1955

First election: 2003, Chairman since 2011

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Biography

Robert F. Spoerry (born 1955, Swiss citizen) has been Chairman of the Board of Sonova Holding AG since March 30, 2011, and a non-executive member of the Board since 2003. He also serves as Chairman of the Nomination and Compensation Committee. 

Robert F. Spoerry is also the non-executive Chairman of the Board of Mettler Toledo International Inc., a leading global manufacturer and marketer of precision instruments and related services for use in laboratory, manufacturing, and food retailing applications. He joined Mettler Toledo in 1983 and was CEO from 1993 to 2007. He led the buyout of Mettler-Toledo from Ciba-Geigy in 1996, and the company’s subsequent Initial Public Offering on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1997. In 1998, he was nominated as Chairman of the Board. 

His long-standing experience in the technology sector, his deep knowledge of Sonova and his strong technical background with innovation-driven companies provides a substantial benefit to the Group and its shareholders. Robert F. Spoerry devotes a substantial amount of his time to his service as Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Nomination and Compensation Committee. 

Robert F. Spoerry graduated in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago. 
 

Outside mandates:

  • Member of the Board of Conzzeta Holding AG 
    Non-executive Chairman of the Board of Mettler Toledo International Inc.


Meeting attendance during the financial year 2018/19

  • Board of Directors: 6 out of 6 meetings attended 
    Audit Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended as guest 
    Nomination and Compensation Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended 

Holdings as of 31.3.2019

  • Shares: 34,446 
    Restricted Shares1): 17,498 


 

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2024 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 7.4 in the consolidated financial statements.

Beat Hess
Vice-Chairman, non-executive member

Beat Hess

Nationality: Switzerland

Born: 1949

First election: 2012

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Biography

Beat Hess (born 1949, Swiss citizen) has been Vice Chairman and a non-executive member of the Board of Sonova Holding AG since June 19, 2012. He serves on the Nomination and Compensation Committee.

From 1988 to 2003, he served as General Counsel of ABB Group and, from 2003 to 2011, as Group Legal Director and member of the Group Executive Committee of Royal Dutch Shell plc.

With his broad international and legal experience, including in the areas of compensation, corporate governance, compliance and risk management, Dr. Beat Hess adds substantial insight into these topics.

Beat Hess studied at the Universities of Geneva, Freiburg, and Miami, is an attorney-at-law and holds a doctorate in Law.

Outside mandates:

 

  • Member of the Board of Directors of Nestlé S.A.
  • Chairman of the Board of LafargeHolcim Ltd. (since May 2016; previously Vice Chairman)

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2018/19

  • Board of Directors: 6 out of 6 meetings attended
  • Nomination and Compensation Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2019

  • Shares: 3,438
  • Restricted Shares1): 7,140

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2024 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 7.4 in the consolidated financial statements.

Lynn Dorsey Bleil
Non-executive member

Lynn Dorsey Bleil

Nationality: USA

Born: 1963

First election: 2016

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Biography

Lynn Dorsey Bleil (born in 1963, US citizen) has been a non-executive member of the Board since 2016. She retired as Senior Partner (Director) from McKinsey&Company in the US in 2013 after more than 25 years of advising senior management and boards of leading healthcare companies on corporate and business unit strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and public policy across all segments of the healthcare value chain. She was also a member of the Board of Directors of Auspex Pharmaceuticals until its sale to Teva in March 2015, and DST Systems until its sale to SS&C in April 2018. Lynn Dorsey Bleil is also a member of the Board of Directors of Alcon Inc., a newly formed company spun off from Novartis AG.

With her extensive experience in advising North American healthcare companies across the entire value chain, she brings very valuable strategic perspectives to the Group.

Lynn Dorsey Bleil holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Outside mandates:

  • Member of the Board of Directors, the Audit Committee, and the Innovation Committee of Alcon Inc.
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Nominating & Governance Committee, and Compensation Committee of Stericycle Inc.
  • Member of the Board of Directors, the Compensation Committee, and the Nominating & Governance Committee of Amicus Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of Intermountain Healthcare Park City Hospital

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2018/19

  • Board of Directors: 6 out of 6 meetings attended
  • Audit Committee: 3 out of 4 meetings attended (From Annual General Meeting 2018)

Holdings as per 31.3.2019

  • Shares: –
  • Restricted Shares1): 3,961

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2024 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 7.4 in the consolidated financial statements.

Lukas Braunschweiler
Non-executive member

Lukas Braunschweiler

Nationality: Switzerland

Born: 1956

First election: 2018

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Biography

Lukas Braunschweiler (born 1956, Swiss citizen) was the CEO of the Sonova Group from November 2011 until March 31, 2018. During a transition period, he gradually transferred his duties to Arnd Kaldowski who joined the Sonova Group in October 2017 as Chief Operating Officer. Before joining the company, Lukas Braunschweiler was CEO of the Swiss technology group RUAG. From 2002 to 2009, as President and CEO, he headed the Dionex Corporation. The California-based company, active in the life sciences industry, was listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Previously, from 1995 to 2002, he held various group executive positions in Switzerland and the US, for Mettler Toledo, a precision instruments manufacturer.

Lukas Braunschweiler brings broad CEO experience from a variety of companies and industries. Having served as CEO of Sonova from 2011 to 2018, he has not only a comprehensive knowledge of Sonova as a company and its business but also a broad experience in the global hearing aid industry.

Lukas Braunschweiler received a Master of Science in analytical chemistry (1982) and was awarded a Ph.D. in physical chemistry (1985) from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.

Outside mandates:

  • Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tecan Group AG
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Schweiter Technology Group
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Sulzer Ltd.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of private, non-listed BURU Holding AG
  • President of Swiss Management Association SMG

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2018/19

  • Board of Directors: 6 out of 6 meetings attended (4 meetings as a guest)
  • Audit Committee: 1 out of 4 meetings attended as a guest
  • Nomination and Compensation Committee: 1 out of 4 meetings attended as a guest

Holdings as per 31.3.2019

  • Shares1): 19,862
  • Restricted Shares2): 1,096
  • Restricted Share Units: 7,152
  • Options: 165,577

1) New member of the Board of Directors since June 2018.

2) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2024 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 7.4 in the consolidated financial statements.

Stacy Enxing Seng
Non-executive member

Stacy Enxing Seng

Nationality: USA

Born: 1964

First election: 2014

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Biography

Stacy Enxing Seng (born 1964, US citizen) has been a non-executive member of the Board since 2014 and serves on the Nomination and Compensation Committee. She previously served as President of Covidien’s Vascular Therapies division. Stacy Enxing Seng joined Covidien in July 2010 through its acquisition of ev3 where she was a founding member and executive officer responsible for leading ev3’s Peripheral Vascular Division from inception. She has also held various positions at Boston Scientific, SCIMED Life Systems Inc., Baxter Healthcare, and American Hospital Supply.

With her broad experience in the medical technology sector and her strong track record in growing startups and leading multinational companies, she brings important perspectives to the Group. Her expertise in working with regulatory agencies around the globe brings valuable insight to the Board.

Stacy Enxing Seng received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University and has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Michigan State University.

Outside mandates:

  • Member of the Board of Directors of Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of PreCardia, Inc.
  • Venture Partner, Lightstone Ventures

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2018/19

  • Board of Directors: 6 out of 6 meetings attended
  • Nomination and Compensation Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2019

  • Shares: –
  • Restricted Shares1): 7,140

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2024 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 7.4 in the consolidated financial statements.

Michael Jacobi
Non-executive member

Michael Jacobi

Nationality: Switzerland/Germany

Born: 1953

First election: 2003

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Biography

Michael Jacobi (born 1953, Swiss and German citizen) has been a non-executive member of the Board since 2003 and serves as the Chairman of the Audit Committee. Michael Jacobi has been an independent consultant since 2007.

From 1996 to 2007, he was CFO and member of the Executive Committee of Ciba Specialty Chemicals Inc. Prior to this, since 1978, Michael Jacobi held various management positions in the area of finance at Ciba-Geigy Group in Brazil, the US, and in Switzerland.

With his wide management and financial background and his expertise as former CFO, Michael Jacobi is well qualified to serve as the Chairman of the Audit Committee as a financial expert.

Michael Jacobi studied economics and business administration at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, at the University of Washington in Seattle, and at the Harvard Business School in Boston. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of St. Gallen in 1979.

Outside mandates:

  • Member of the Board of Trustees of Martin Hilti Family Trust

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2018/19

  • Board of Directors: 6 out of 6 meetings attended
  • Audit Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2019

  • Shares: 2,481
  • Restricted Shares1): 7,140

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2024 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 7.4 in the consolidated financial statements.

Ronald van der Vis
Non-executive member

Ronald van der Vis

Nationality: Netherlands

Born: 1967

First election: 2009

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Biography

(born 1967, Dutch citizen) has been a non-executive member of the Board since 2009 and serves on the Audit Committee. Ronald van der Vis was Executive Director of the Board and Group CEO of Esprit Holdings Limited, a global fashion and lifestyle company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, from 2009 until November 2012. Prior to this, since 1998, he held various general management positions at Pearle Europe (now GrandVision NV), the world’s leading optical retailer. He was CEO of the Pearle Europe group from 2004 to 2009.

With his extensive international experience in the retail sector, Ronald van der Vis provides valuable input to the Group’s vertically integrated business strategy.

Ronald van der Vis graduated from the Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands and received his Master’s degree in business administration from the Alliance Manchester Business School in the UK. He has gained significant financial expertise both through his education and through his business experience as CEO and private equity partner.

Outside mandates:

  • Operating Partner, Co-Investor and Industry Advisor
  • ​Chairman of the Supervisory Board of European Dental Group Holding BV
  • ​Member of the Supervisory Board of HEMA BV

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2018/19

  • Board of Directors: 6 out of 6 meetings attended
  • Audit Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2018/19

  • Board of Directors: 6 out of 6 meetings attended
  • Audit Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2019

  • Shares: -
  • Restricted Shares1): 7,140

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2024 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 7.4 in the consolidated financial statements.

Jinlong Wang
Non-executive member

Jinlong Wang

Nationality: USA

Born: 1957

First election: 2013

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Biography

Jinlong Wang (born 1957, US citizen) has been a non-executive member of the Board since 2013. He currently serves as chairman and CEO at PizzaExpress Group Holdings Limited and as managing director/operating partner at Hony Capital. Previously, he held a number of senior positions at Starbucks including Senior Vice President of Starbucks Corp., President of Starbucks Asia Pacific Region, Chairman and President of Starbucks Greater China Region, Head of the Law & Corporate Affairs department and Vice President International Business Development. He started his career as a government official in the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade in China.

With his broad business and legal background both in China and in the United States, Jinlong Wang brings valuable insights to the Board. Thanks to his extensive business development expertise he has made tangible contributions to the Group’s strategy in Asia and in particular in China.

Jinlong Wang graduated with a Bachelor degree in International Economics and Trade from the University of International Economics and Trade in Beijing in 1982 and received his Juris Doctor degree at Columbia School of Law, Columbia University, in 1988.

 

Outside mandates:

  • Chairman and CEO of PizzaExpress Group Holding Limited

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2018/19

  • Board of Directors: 6 out of 6 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2019

  • Shares: 1,605
  • Restricted Shares1): 7,140

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2024 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 7.4 in the consolidated financial statements.