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

  • Vincent Ducrot, CEO of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), has once again defended the top position in the CEO Image Ranking. The media praise his company management, but his statements on remote work generate a divided response.
  • ABB CEO Björn Rosengren has risen in the ranking and comes in second. The markets reward the corporate restructuring under his management. Philipp Wyss (Coop) has newly entered the ranking and comes in third – he presents himself as the one who has saved an organic dairy.  
  • Thanks to several new and reentries, the cards are being reshuffled in the ranking. The managers on the lower positions, however, face isolated instances of criticism.

For third straight quarter, Vincent Ducrot, CEO of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), is positioned at the very top of the CEO image ranking, which was published by SonntagsZeitung. 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. Vincent Ducrot, who has been CEO of the state-owned railway company since April 2020, can look back on positive results during his term in office so far. NZZ am Sonntag reminds its readers that planning mistakes had led to a shortage of train drivers in the past. CEO Ducrot launched a restructuring campaign when he took office, the newspaper writes. “This has started to pay off,” the paper notes, with its headline reading “From a shortage of SBB locomotive drivers to a surplus”. The SBB CEO has been sporadically criticized for his attitude to pandemic-related remote work. “Employees working from home around the world have become inefficient,” NZZ am Sonntag quotes him as saying. By now, all employees who have to work remotely must do this from Switzerland at SBB, writes the media outlet.


Björn Rosengren (ABB) is back on the podium, Philipp Wyss (Coop) newly enters the ranking

With the second place ABB CEO Björn Rosengren, makes it back onto the winner's podium. The figures are good, the share price is developing well - "the markets are increasingly rewarding the group restructuring of CEO Björn Rosengren, who has been in office since March 2020," writes Handelsblatt. Finanz und Wirtschaft also sees the manager on a good path to "transform ABB into a nimble and more profitable industrial group." Under his leadership, the power and automation technology group is following a path similar to that of German competitor Siemens, the media outlet notes.

The top 3 is completed by Coop CEO Philipp Wyss, who has been at the helm of the company since May 2021. With a donation of CHF 700,000, the major distributor helped secure the continued existence of an organic dairy in Vals (Grisons). Apart from that, however, the positioning of the new Coop CEO still has room for improvement; he only just managed to jump over the hurdle of minimum required media presence to be represented in the ranking.


Lonza CEO celebrates growth of all divisions, Swiss Post chief increases letter postage

Nestlé CEO Ulf Mark Schneider climbs up one position and comes in fourth. He is managing the food corporation with “some success,” writes Le Temps. Pierre-Alain Ruffieux (Lonza) and Roberto Cirillo (Swiss Post) tie for fifth place. Ruffieux had to complete the splitting-off of chemicals unit LSI this year, and then handle the rapid growth in the remaining pharma business. “He is pleased that all four divisions grew strongly in the first half of the year,” writes Finanz und Wirtschaft. Swiss Post CEO Cirillo, for his part, has managed to do something that several of his predecessors failed to do due to the authorities: raise mail prices. For the first time since 2004, a postal manager was able to raise postage. Luzerner Zeitung highlights this as Cirillo's personal success in an article which is headlined “Stamp revolution”.

Mario Greco, Group CEO of Zurich Insurance, makes it back into the ranking after the third quarter and secures seventh place. SonntagsZeitung emphasizes that things are going well at the insurer. With “additional customers, higher sales prices, more business volumes, stronger profit margins,” Greco is pursuing the ambition of increasing earnings per share.

The other places are occupied by Fabrice Zumbrunnen (Migros, eighth place) and Gary Nagle (ninth place), CEO of Glencore since July and thus a newcomer to UNICEPTA’s CEO image ranking. Thomas Gottstein (tenth place) concludes the ranking. The CEO of crisis-ridden bank Credit Suisse enjoys the trust of Chairman of the Board António Horta-Osório, according to Basler Zeitung. Handelsblatt finds that “Credit Suisse was able to avert direct damage to CEO Thomas Gottstein” and aptly describes what the bank is doing at the moment: “heavy lifting in communications.”


For the CEO image ranking of SonntagsZeitung, UNICEPTA evaluated 973 articles published from January to September 2021 in leading Swiss media as well as Der 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 tonality of media coverage.


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