STAEFA, SWITZERLAND — Sonova Holding AG, one of the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturers, announced the retirement of CEO Lukas Braunschweiler this week, after serving in the CEO position since 2011. Braunschweiler’s successor, Arnd Kaldowski, will initially join the company as COO on October 1st, before fully transitioning into the CEO role on April 1, 2018.
Kaldowski joins Sonova from the Danaher Corporation, where he most recently served as Group Executive, Diagnostics Platform and President, Beckman Coulter Diagnostics.
Once he begins in his new role as COO on October 1, Arnd Kaldowski will be responsible for several of Sonova’s business divisions, including hearing instruments, cochlear implants, research and development, supply chain and IT. During the transition period, Lukas Braunschweiler will continue to oversee finance, human resources, investor relations and communications.
Kaldowski will assume full responsibility of all functions upon assuming CEO role on April 1, 2018.
“With Arnd Kaldowski we have gained a proven and successful leader with a strong track record in the healthcare industry. Throughout his entire career, technology and innovation, digitalization and proximity to the customer were key” –Robert Spoerry, Chairman of Sonova’s Board of Directors.
One source, who had previously worked with Kaldowski, told HHTM that he believes he could be an effective leader, even without hearing industry experience. “At that level, it’s about doing honest strategic, business, and personnel assessments and then making tough decisions. I think Arnd has that skillset.”
To support long-term continuity of leadership at the company, the Board of Directors will propose that Lukas Braunschweiler be up for election as a member of the Sonova’s Board at next year’s General Shareholders’ Meeting in June.
“Today, Sonova is in an excellent position,” said Board Chairman, Robert Spoerry. “During his tenure Lukas Braunschweiler has helped to overcome various challenges quickly and subsequently grew the company together with his team by around 50%, even in periods of substantial strengthening of the Swiss franc. This success was very much driven by a focused global growth and expansion strategy, a strong and unmatched technology pipeline and a second-to-none product portfolio. The well-proven and broad global leadership team of Sonova is poised to lead and expand the Group to the next level in terms of both size and market leadership.”