Swiss Federal Railways CEO wins CEO image ranking for the third time in a row

  • ABB CEO Björn Rosengren successfully climbed to the top position of the CEO Image Ranking in the fourth quarter of 2021. The good figures show that the company’s restructuring measures have been completed.
  • Vincent Ducrot, CEO of Swiss Federal Railways, came in second in the last quarter of the year. He has achieved his goals of increasing the punctuality of Swiss Federal Railways. Nestlé CEO Ulf Mark Schneider scores with the successful reorganization of his company, completing the Top 3.
  • Sika CEO Thomas Hasler has newly entered the ranking. He successfully completed the largest takeover in the company’s history.

Metaphorically spoken, ABB CEO Björn Rosengren made a final sprint on the last few meters and climbed to the top position of the CEO Image Ranking, which was published by SonntagsZeitung. For the ranking, UNICEPTA has analyzed the media presence of the CEOs of all Swiss companies listed on the SMI as well as of the CEOs of Coop, Glencore, Migros, SBB and Swiss Post. Rosengren has made a major contribution to the improved reputation of ABB. Neue Luzerner Zeitung called him a “master of financial communication”. Since he has been behind the wheel of the group in Zurich, the company’s share price rose by more than 50 percent, the newspaper writes. ABB “is going forward in all areas once again,” Blick was happy to report. Rosengren consistently implemented the decentralization already initiated by his predecessors. “The group, which looks back at a long tradition, had become somewhat cumbersome. It has now been shaken up,” wrote Neue Zürcher Zeitung. A thoroughly positive balance, then – which came as little surprise to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in view of his professional past: “Rosengren had recommended himself for the job in Zurich thanks to his successful rebuild work at Sandvik and previously at Wärtisilä and Atlas Copco.”


Repeated winner Ducrot (SBB) falls to second place, Schneider (Nestlé) scores with corporate restructuring

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) CEO Vincent Ducrot, who had won the ranking several times, lost the top position after he came out on top of the ranking for three quarters in a row. He took second place – just behind Rosengren. He continues to benefit from the positive results of an employee survey. Employees' trust in the company’s management has grown enormously, and the communication of the executives is seen as clearer and easier to understand, summarized Blick. One of Ducrot's most important goals after taking office: the punctuality of the trains. "90.5 percent of all trains are set to arrive at their destination with less than a three-minute delay. In Ducrot's first year, SBB has been successful in this," SonntagsZeitung summed it up. In the traditionally more punctual regional traffic, this had even been the case earlier, the newspaper noted.

Ulf Mark Schneider gained one place and is now number three on the winner’s rostrum. The Nestlé CEO pledged a comprehensive restructuring of the world’s largest food corporation. "He divested less attractive areas such as the U.S. mineral water business, but expanded products with potential, such as coffee," reported NZZ am Sonntag. This was accompanied by a stronger focus on megatrends such as healthy nutrition. NZZ am Sonntag's assessment: "This strategy is now paying off."


Cirillo (Swiss Post) and Hasler (Sika) position themselves with takeovers

Roberto Cirillo, CEO of Swiss Post, also climbed one position in the ranking compared to the previous quarter. Basler Zeitung can clearly see his strategy. "He aims for Swiss Post to grow." And to reach this goal, Cirillo seems to invest a lot of money. "In 2021 alone, the company planned to spend CHF 230 million on acquisitions." Not entirely without controversy, after all, the state-owned company is pushing into new business areas with many an acquisition, writes the newspaper. But some media outlets also highlight the growth prospects for Swiss Post that result from this strategy.

The 2021 annual ranking concludes with two CEOs sharing fifth place. Zurich CEO Mario Greco aims to continue to distribute around 75 percent of profits annually. Earnings, "on which the ratio is based, will increase by an average of 5 percent or more annually, according to Greco's ambitions," writes Finanz und Wirtschaft. Greco's financial targets, which he presented at the analyst conference, are described as "solid, but not exciting,” by the paper. Joining the ranking for the first time is Thomas Hasler, who has been at the helm of Sika since May 2021. The specialty chemicals company bought MBCC, BASF's former construction chemicals business, for CHF 5.5 billion. "With the largest acquisition in the company's history, the group from central Switzerland is growing by 130 production sites in more than 60 countries," notes SonntagsZeitung. The aspect of sustainability is of particular importance to Hasler. "The combined portfolio will make sustainable construction possible," Finanz und Wirtschaft quotes him as saying.


For the CEO image ranking of SonntagsZeitung, UNICEPTA analyzed 1,314 articles published from January to December 2021 in Swiss leading media as well as Spiegel, FAZ, Handelsblatt, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Economist. The ranking is based on results from UNICEPTA's "SMI Benchmark." With this, the media & data intelligence provider continuously records the media presence of all SMI CEOs (plus Swiss Post, SBB, Coop, Glencore and Migros) as well as the tone of media coverage.


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