Les Geneveys-sur-Coffrane (January 2011) For the first time in its 66-year history, leading Swiss manufacturer FELCO is to appoint a chief executive officer from outside the family realm. 43-year-old Christophe Nicolet will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer in July from Laurent Perrin, grandson of company founder Félix Flisch.
Mr Nicolet, who is originally from the Neuchâtel region, joined FELCO as Industrial Manager on the10th of January this year. Prior to that, he was CEO of various companies within the Swatch group in Malaysia and Switzerland. He moved to the watch-making sector after a variety of roles, most notably with industrial furnace specialist SOLO Swiss. His background is in mechanical engineering with post-graduate studies in business management.
Laurent Perrin, who has been FELCO chief executive officer since 2003, said his successor brings broad operational and management experience to the company.
"Christophe Nicolet understands the industrial process insofar that he has assumed many operational roles. He’s familiar with the technical challenges that govern production,’ he said. ‘His experience also gives him particular insight into the cultural differences which are essential to FELCO as it ventures into non-traditional territories.’
The future CEO’s vision for FELCO’s future is clear, to maintain the durability of the company while building growth.
‘FELCO produces products with significant added value by uniting various activities within the company. Its stability and long-term strategy allow it to occupy a position on the international market while simultaneously ensuring quality,’ he said.
Mr Perrin plans to return to Canada where his career at FELCO first began. Early retirement is not an option. Mr Perrin plans to tackle the North-American market by creating two new subsidiaries distributing FELCO botany products in the USA and Canada. His commitment to the overall development of the FLISCH Holding Group will see him assume the role of Administrator and Director Overseeing Strategic Development in other fields.
‘I’ll be leaving the company in safe hands,’ he says. ‘Christophe Nicolet understands the corporate culture extremely well and shares the family values that have served FELCO so well.’
Félix Flisch, who died in 2000, founded FELCO SA in 1945 in Geneveys-sur-Coffrane, the Arc Jurassien watch-making heartland of Switzerland. The company specialises in the production and commercialization of cutting tools for professional use. Based in the Neuchâtel region, FELCO SA is a standard reference for the global pruning-shear market. Its high-quality products are designed and assembled in Switzerland. FELCO SA has 140 employees and recorded a turnover of 41 million Swiss francs for the period, 2009-2010. With 40 product associates, the company exports to more than 100 countries. FELCO has six subsidiaries in Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, South Africa and Australia.
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