Stäfa, Switzerland — The Board of Directors of Sonova Holding AG, the parent company of Phonak, Unitron, InSound Medical, Advanced Bionics, and HearingPlanet, has appointed technology industry veteran Lukas Braunschweiler as Sonova’s new CEO. The 55-year-old Swiss citizen is currently the CEO of the Swiss technology and aerospace company, Ruag.

Braunschweiler’s appointment, effective November 1, 2011, will permanently fill the position of former CEO Valentin Chapero, who resigned in March 2011 after news broke of an insider trading investigation.

Alexander Zschokke will continue as interim CEO of the company until Braunschweiler assumes his position. He commented in the press statement, “Getting such an experienced and successful executive as Lukas Braunschweiler on board is good for our company. I’m happy that on the first of November, I can hand over a strategically well-positioned and healthy company with a strong team. I look forward to supporting Lukas Braunschweiler when he joins our company.”

Braunschweiler (pictured, right) has a long career in the high-tech industry in Switzerland and the United States. Before Ruag, he served as president and CEO of Dionex Corporation, a California-based company that manufactures high-tech life sciences technology, such as mass spectrometry. Prior to Dionex, Braunschweiler held various management positions at the precision instruments manufacturer Mettler Toledo, where he was active in both Switzerland and the United States.

His assignments also brought him into close contact with Asian markets, where hearing aid markets are expanding.

"With Lukas Braunschweiler we have gained an experienced executive who has an impressive track record in the successful development of listed companies. Additionally, he has international experience and a profound knowledge of the high-tech industry,” says Robert Spoerry, chairman of Sonova’s Board of Directors, in the press statement. “Moreover, his affinity for technology, along with his focused and structured, yet team-oriented leadership style, fits well with Sonova’s culture.”

A scientist by education, Braunschweiler holds a Master of Science and a doctorate in physical chemistry from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ). “Sonova is in many ways an exceptional Swiss high-tech company in an extremely exciting growth market,” Braunschweiler said in the press announcement. “I’m looking forward to contributing, together with the Sonova team, to the continuation of this success story.”

Spoerry, also commented on Zschokke’s tenure, saying, “Out of a sense of loyalty and responsibility, Alexander Zschokke jumped in when our company was in a difficult situation, and in just a short period of time, he brought calm and security back into our organization and made sure that we stayed on course,” says. “For that we owe him a great debt of gratitude.”

SOURCE: Sonova and The Hearing Review Archives