Board Talk​

Today more than ever, the rapidly changing economic landscape has increased uncertainty and opportunities for many businesses in Switzerland. From a board director’s perspective, how can organisations best address the resulting strategic challenges and be prepared for the future? In our Board Talk we interview directors cross industry to provide answers to these questions.

Are you a board director and interested in being interviewed?



Regula Wallimann

“Success starts with having sustainability as a regular item on the agenda for Board meetings. If the Board sets realistic and ambitious goals and gives management a clear mandate to implement them, it is well on the way to succeeding. I think it is better to focus on just a few goals and to make genuine and substantial progress in those areas.”


Barbara Dubach

“It is strategically important for the Board to have both experience and expertise in the area of sustainability. Board members need the right level of expertise to be able to challenge management on sustainability strategy and goals and to monitor achievement of those goals.”

Professor of IT and Business at HSLU. She serves on the Board of Directors or the Supervisory Board of several Swiss and Austrian Companies. Member of the Swiss Federal Electricity Commission.

Prof. Dr. Sita Mazumder

“AI is just like any other specialist area within the company: not every Board member has to be a specialist in the digital area, any more than they require specialist expertise in finance, risk management or human resources. But giving Board members basic knowledge and empowering them, coupled with some specialist input, is the best recipe for long-term success in tackling the challenges posed by AI.”

Chair of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee of Valiant Bank and member of the Board of Bâloise and APG|SGA

Maya Bundt

“It’s important that managing cyber risk or digital risk isn’t seen as just an IT problem but is recognised as a company-wide issue to be tackled as part of the company’s corporate strategy. Major strategic decisions almost always have an impact on the company’s cyber footprint.”

Federal Cyber Security Delegate, head of the Swiss National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and, from 1 January 2024, Director of Switzerland’s new Federal Office for Cybersecurity

Florian Schütz

“All companies are at risk, regardless of size and sector. However, many SMEs lack the financial and human resources to take effective cyber security measures, so their expertise and infrastructure is limited or even non-existent.”

Chair of the Audit Committee of Glarner Kantonalbank and member of the Board of Directors of Apiax

Sonja Stirnimann

“We’ve been living with ‘cyber’ for at least 40 years, yet for many Boards, it is uncharted territory compared to other operational risks. What I find, though, is that the fear factor and taboo tend to die away if the problems are discussed in a safe space with like-minded people at Board and/or management level.”

CEO of the Mantis Collection & MD of the Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Paul Gardiner

"Throughout our footprint, guests enjoy luxury hospitality, while experiencing living the Mantis mantra: Man and Nature Together Is Sustainable."

President of the Board of Banque Cantonale de Genève, compenswiss, Varia US Properties, Enki Capital, NID and Patrimonium Asset Management

Manuel Leuthold

“I believe the Board’s long-term objective is to create value for the shareholders. If this objective is properly understood, it should encompass all stakeholders and all other major long-term dimensions.”

Member of the Board and the Compensation Committee at EDAG Engineering Group, Leonteq, Medacta and PolyPeptide

Philippe Weber

“Interestingly, companies are sometimes punished by shareholder representatives or the media for voluntarily being more transparent about remuneration issues than is required by law or for being more transparent than peer companies. Companies therefore need to find the right level of transparency.”

Futurist, Humanist, Filmmaker, Author of “Technology vs. Humanity” and CEO of The Futures Agency

Gerd Leonhard

“Sustainable is the New Profitable. PURPOSE is the new Product. The Future is not something that just happens to us – it’s something we CREATE.”

Board member at UBS Switzerland, SYNLAB, Implenia and Deutsche Börse

Barbara Lambert

“The speed, unpredictability and far-reaching consequences of geopolitical developments are not going to decrease in the coming years, so Boards will need to take both tactical and strategically far-reaching decisions.”

Board member at skyguide and Swiss Innovation Forces

Aldo Schellenberg

“As a company’s strategic leadership body, the Board of Directors is responsible for actively tracking geopolitical trends, identifying the opportunities and risks these represent for the company and the sector, and drawing conclusions for how the company should respond.”

Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy

Thomas Greminger

“Facing the new situation and its implications, there are two distinct approaches that the Swiss economy could adopt: either focus on safe and geopolitically close economic partners such as the EU (which is already its most important economic partner) or increase the number and origin of partners. Diversification is a critical asset when it comes to limiting the impact of any shock.”

CEO foundation Startfeld

Dr. Cornelia Gut-Villa

“The board shapes the company’s culture, so it needs to create conditions in which employees understand what the company stands for. All employees should feel appreciated, so there needs to be scope for ideas to be fed in from the bottom up and to be heard.”

Chairman OM Pharma and Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ)

Etienne Jornod

“Strategy and innovation must be regularly on the agenda, at least at the time of the board’s retreat. But in fact, it is a matter of a constant daily attitude, of corporate culture!”

Partner GWPartner AG, Chairman St. Galler Kantonalbank AG

Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Gutzwiller

“Innovation management is a role for senior management. The board should maintain a broad focus on innovation as part of strategy development, raise fundamental issues and identify ‘black holes’ in the strategy presented to it.”


Reto Savoia

Boardroom Programme Co-Chair +41 58 279 6357 View profile

Michael Grampp

Research Director & Chief Economist +41 58 279 6817 View profile

Daniel Laude

Assistant Manager +41 58 279 6435 View profile

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