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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
Robert F. Spoerry
Position: 
Chairman, non-executive member
Nationality: 
Switzerland
Born: 
1955
First election: 
2003, Chairman since 2011
More Information: 

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.

Other activities

  • Vice Chairman of the Board of Geberit AG (until April 2016)
  • Member of the Board of Conzzeta Holding AG

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2017/18

  • Board of Directors: 5 out of 5 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 31.3.2018

  • Shares: 29,780
  • Restricted Shares1): 18,972

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2023 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 30 in the consolidated financial statements.

 

 

Beat Hess
Position: 
Vice-Chairman, non-executive member
Nationality: 
Switzerland
Born: 
1949
First election: 
2012
More Information: 

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.

Other activities

  • 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 2017/18

  • Board of Directors: 5 out of 5 meetings attended
  • Nomination and Compensation Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2018

  • Shares: 1,833
  • Restricted Shares1): 7,649

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2023 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 30 in the consolidated financial statements.

Lynn Dorsey Bleil
Position: 
Non-executive member
Nationality: 
USA
Born: 
1963
First election: 
2016
More Information: 

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 Board of Directors of Auspex Pharmaceuticals until May 2015.

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.

Other activities

  • Member of the Board of Directors of Stericycle, Inc.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of DST Systems, Inc.
  • Member of the Governing Board of Intermountain Healthcare (Park City Hospital)

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2017/18

  • Board of Directors: 5 out of 5 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2018

  • Shares: –
  • Restricted Shares1) 2): 2,865

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2023 depending on the grant date.
2) New member of the Board of Directors since June 2016. For further details see also Note 30 in the consolidated financial statements

 

Lukas Braunschweiler
Position: 
Non-executive member
Nationality: 
Switzerland
Born: 
1956
First election: 
2018
More Information: 

Biography

Lukas Braunschweiler (born 1956, Swiss citizen) has been a non-executive member of the Board since 2018. He was previously the CEO of the Sonova Group from November 2011 until March 2018. Lukas Braunschweiler was CEO of the Swiss technology group RUAG. From 2002 to 2009, as President & CEO, he headed the Dionex Corporation, Nasdaq listed company active in the life sciences industry. Previously, he worked from 1995 to 2002 in various group executive positions in Switzerland and the US for Mettler Toledo, a precision instruments manufacturer.

With his profound knowledge of the Sonova Group and the hearing care industry he brings valuable strategic insight to Sonova.

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.

Other activities

  • Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tecan Group AG
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Sulzer Ltd.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Schweiter Technology Group

Holdings as per 31.3.2018

  • Shares1): 17,061
  • Restricted Share Units: 9,953
  • Options: 191,152

1) Shares are dividend entitled with full voting rights. For further details see also Note 30 in the consolidated financial statements.

Stacy Enxing Seng
Position: 
Non-executive member
Nationality: 
USA
Born: 
1964
First election: 
2014
More Information: 

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 an Executive in Residence for Covidien, as well 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.

Other activities

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

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2017/18

  • Board of Directors: 5 out of 5 meetings attended
  • Nomination and Compensation Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2018

  • Shares: –
  • Restricted Shares1): 6,044

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2023 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 30 in the consolidated financial statements

Michael Jacobi
Position: 
Non-executive member
Nationality: 
Switzerland/Germany
Born: 
1953
First election: 
2003
More Information: 

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 worked as 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 in accounting, 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.

Other activities

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

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2017/18

  • Board of Directors: 5 out of 5 meetings attended
  • Audit Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2018

  • Shares: 4,876
  • Restricted Shares1): 7,649

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2023 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 30 in the consolidated financial statements

Ronald van der Vis
Position: 
Non-executive member
Nationality: 
Netherlands
Born: 
1967
First election: 
2009
More Information: 

Biography

Ronald van der Vis (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 is providing amongst others 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.

Other activities

  • Operating partner, Co-Investor and Industry Advisor
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Beter Bed Holding N.V.

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2017/18

  • Board of Directors: 5 out of 5 meetings attended
  • Audit Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2018

  • Shares: 2,355
  • Restricted Shares1): 7,649

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2023 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 30 in the consolidated financial statements

Anssi Vanjoki
Position: 
Non-executive member
Nationality: 
Finland
Born: 
1956
First election: 
2009
More Information: 

Biography

Anssi Vanjoki (born 1956, Finnish citizen) has been a non-executive member of the Board since 2009 and serves on the Audit Committee. Anssi Vanjoki is Professor at Lappeenranta University of Technology and Individual Multicontributor of RKBS Oy, a technology start-up investment company. He was Executive Vice President and General Manager of Nokia until March 2011 and member of the Nokia Group Executive Board from 1998 to 2011.

He has wide knowledge in the area of new technologies, including software, wireless communication and eSolutions. Together with his broad international management experience, he provides a valuable contribution to the Board.

Anssi Vanjoki has a Master’s degree in business administration from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.

Other activities

  • Chairman of the Board of Oriola Corporation
  • Vice-Chairman of the board of Elisa Corporation
  • Anchor investor and Chairman of small technology companies

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2017/18

  • Board of Directors: 5 out of 5 meetings attended
  • Audit Committee: 4 out of 4 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2018

  • Shares: 3,876
  • Restricted Shares1): 7'649
  • Options: 2,558

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2023 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 30 in the consolidated financial statements

Jinlong Wang
Position: 
Non-executive member
Nationality: 
USA
Born: 
1957
First election: 
2013
More Information: 

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, he brings valuable insights to the Board. Thanks to his 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.

Meeting attendance during the financial year 2017/18

  • Board of Directors: 5 out of 5 meetings attended

Holdings as per 31.3.2018

  • Shares: –
  • Restricted Shares1): 7,649

1) These shares are subject to a restriction period which varies from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2023 depending on the grant date. For further details see also Note 30 in the consolidated financial statements