STÄFA, SWITZERLAND–Sonova Holding AG’s board of directors has announced that Lukas Braunschweiler, a 55-year-old Swiss citizen, will become CEO of the company on November 1. The appointment, announced on July 18, will fill the vacancy created in March when the longtime chief executive Valentin Chapero resigned, along with the chairman and CFO of Sonova, following an insider-trading probe.
Braunschweiler, who is currently CEO of the Swiss technology group Ruag, will take over his new post on November 1. Sonova, the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturer in terms of sales revenues, is parent company of Phonak, Unitron, Sona, Lyric, Advanced Bionics, Hearing Planet, and Hansaton.
Immediate response to the appointment in the financial community was favorable, as shares in Sonova (SOON.VX) rose 0.7% the next day. Florian Gaiser, an analyst with Kepler, said, “The (perceived) leadership vacuum is now being addressed very credibly. This is one of the major operational milestones Sonova needs to deliver on the way back to its old strength.”
Braunschweiler’s career has included positions in high-tech industries in Switzerland and the United States. Before joining Ruag in 2009, he was CEO at Dionex Corporation in California for seven years, where he helped bring about the life science company’s successful expansion and development. Previously, he held various management positions at the precision instruments manufacturer Mettler Toledo.
A scientist by education, Braunschweiler holds an MS and a doctorate in physical chemistry from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.