Ulysse Nardin CEO on Succeeding & Succession

Patrik Hoffmann

Just down from the Four Seasons walking towards the Mandarin Oriental on the Rhone River Ulysse Nardin in January was the latest haute Swiss watch brand to open its own boutique in Geneva.

Naturally on opening day CEO Patrik Hoffmann was there greeting customers, guests and press. It’s a day that many may have thought would never come after the sudden passing of longtime owner and CEO Rolf W. Schnyder in April 2011. However, Schnyder’s long time deputy Hoffmann has kept the brand buzzing.

I asked Hoffmann how he kept the momentum going during after such a traumatic event.

“We were in a lucky position. Many times when a company brings in a new CEO they have to completely turn the wheel. We didn’t have to do that because the company was there, the management was there, I was there, so the continuity was relatively easy because if you take over a healthy company, which has a direction already, then everything is already there. We had movement productions and developments for movements that wouldn’t be out for another five, six, seven years. These were things that were already on the drawing board, and though we put new things on the drawing board they were only adjustments. It was evolution.”

Hoffmann graciously sat for a Leaders in Luxury interview which we will be posting soon.