Cedric Hyde - Regional CFO - Merck Serono

What are your thoughts on the upcoming Ecopop Referendum?

Regardless of the outcome, for Switzerland it is potentially a message to the outside world which is not good for our global image. If you look at it together with the February 9th 2014 vote there is just the slight concern that our neighbouring countries will not be happy with the messages that are conveyed.

The competitiveness of the Swiss economy is based on a set of framework conditions, which include a highly skilled and multicultural workforce. Irrespective of the results of the votes, the simple fact that the Swiss people are arguing over this kind of subject matters is most likely not perceived as an appealing signal when it comes to attracting talents to Switzerland.

What is the Merck position on Corporate Social Responsiblity (CSR)?

At group level we have a report on all of our CSR activity - it is available here:

http://reports.merckgroup.com/2013/cr-report/servicepages/welcome.html

It is a substantial investment, but we are keen on it, therefore it is something we are very pro-active about. Let me provide two examples relating to diversity:

In 2013, 25% of the management positions at Merck were held by women,
which means that we reached our strategic goal of raising this percentage up to 25% to 30%. And we intend to further increase this ratio by 2016. Fiscal 2013 was the first time that a woman was appointed as head of a Merck Group division.
 
Since we are an international global player, one of our fundamental principles is to recruit employees from the countries in which we operate and offer them career development opportunities. Currently, people from 114 nations work at Merck.
 
If you could go back in time and give some career advice to your younger, graduate self, what would it be?
 

Take the opportunity to master two or three languages. Communication and therefore language are very important. Internationally, English generally prevails. However, in Europe for finance professionals, and also for scientists and other professionals with a cross-border scope of activities, it is a genuine advantage to master other languages.. Although English remains the main language in today’s business environment, if I was 25 now, I would probably try to learn Chinese.

What has been your best, or worst, interview experience?

My worst hiring experience was really quite fascinating. The candidate tried to force himself into the position by virtue of key personality elements he simply did not have. I was interviewing for a finance position with precise needs in terms of management style. The candidate was clearly very motivated for the job, and seemed to be trying to convince himself, probably before, and certainly during the interview, that he could do this job while  the required management style was quite obviously not fitting with what I could perceive  as the candidate’s personality and aspirations. I really think this was the worst thing to do – the candidate  was, consciously or not, tricking himself. If I had hired him it would have been terrible for him! In this case, the whole interview was like a Greek Tragedy. You could see the negative outcome that was underway, but you could not do anything to prevent it.

The best experience from my side, as an interviewee, eventually derived from a situation where I was completely unprepared. I had gone for an interview at a company, and as I was being shown out, we bumped into one of the interviewer's colleagues, and he asked me, off the cuff, if I was prepared to interview for a different position with him. So I said yes. It was to his credit that this was a good interview. He was able to describe accurately and in simple terms the requirements of the position to me, which I had no prior understanding of (since I was not prepared). It was an appealing but overall honest introduction. This led me to have an open mind about it. I ended up having a good interview, and eventually we agreed that I would take the second position. I credit the second interviewer with his ability to select the right candidate, and present the role to someone who wasn't even expecting it. An interesting point here is that my unpreparedness meant I was more open-minded - I had not formed any opinions during my preparation.

What advice would you give to someone who is one day looking to move into a leadership role (Senior Finance Manager/CFO Level)?

This question reminds me of a discussion I once had with a fairly senior manager, about why one manager would perform better than another. We kept coming back to one quality - HONESTY. Always tell the truth. Consider how you deliver the message, but make sure everybody gets it. Structure your message, do your homework properly (different people will react differently to different messages), so you can pinpoint those who may need extra clarification. This simple character trait will enable you to concentrate on positive actions, as opposed to having to be in defensive mode all the time. To be a leader, you need to be trusted. Humility in the good times is also a good trait.

Who would you say the most important figure in business is, and why?

In my own professional life, Mr Ernesto Bertarelli was the most important business leader who has had the most influence on the way I think and the way I act in a business environment. When I had the privilege of being part of his organization, his leadership was very impressive, and it is quite visible citing his work with the America’s Cup. His leadership style at the Serono Group, especially in times of difficulty, was quite frankly amazing. Mr Bertarelli has mastered two  skills that are generally hard to combine in one single manager. He had the boardroom strategic communication mastered, as well as the media communication, but he was also very operations focused with strong interpersonal skills. He would literally walk the floor on a regular basis, discussing issues and opportunities, asking for ideas for improvement from anyone (one of his skills was creating minimal disruption in the organization with these “missions”). Mr Bertarelli would then somehow use this  information in order to feed the boardroom discussions and decisions. He made this operational closeness part of the culture at Serono, and everybody became pretty comfortable with it by the end.

 
*Views and opinions contained within our Executive Interviews are those of the Interviewee and not views shared by EMEA Recruitment.*
 
Show All Other Interviews

in or Register for an account today. With an EMEA account you can apply for jobs, save your searches and view your application history.

Testimonials

"Emma and the team at EMEA Recruitment were absolutely professional, friendly and helpful in each...


"I’m grateful to have worked with Emma in this recruitment journey, certainly her understanding...


"I have talked to several recruiters and recruiting agencies recently, but never met anything...


"I am very pleased to have worked with Hannah Mallia, and can highly recommend her for providing...


"I have met a lot of job agents in my life. None of them have ever compared with Elizabeth....


"Elizabeth was an absolute dream to work with. Throughout a lengthy roller coaster process of job...


"Elizabeth Fox found my profile and recommended me to my current employer for the position,...


"I got to meet John when I was looking for a new professional challenge.
I have been meeting...


"Overall it has been a great experience working with Emma and I am very happy about the way...


"I met Elizabeth while I was job hunting in the Amsterdam Area from Bucharest. Searching for a...


"Elizabeth is a great person to communicate with. She really helped me in finding the next step...


"I am very pleased with your professional approach.
Even though I only know you for a couple...


"Hannah is very professional and responsive. She is keen in updating the prospective candidates...


"As a newly arrived professional in the Netherlands searching for new challenges, Elizabeth has...


"Elizabeth is very focused with a great attention to detail and an eye for a perfect match for...


"Hannah was really helpful in my search for a new role. She spared no efforts to look for...


"I highly recommend Georgia! She was fully dedicated all along the recruiting process. What I...


"Working with Ben is a pleasure. Well informed about the companies he is representing and the...


"Ben is a professional recruitment consultant that takes time for his candidates. When I started...


"My experience with Leon from a candidates perspective has been a real pleasure. His regular...


"I can truly and highly recommend Hannah for her great enthusiasm, punctuality, tremendous help...


"Hannah is a true professional recruiter. She has not only an excellent knowledge of the...


"I’ve had a pleasure of working with Hannah as a candidate looking for a new opportunity....


"Working with Elizabeth has always been a wonderful experience. She is great at matching...


"What I enjoyed the most about Hannah is her committed search to find you the right fit. Not just...


"It's great working with Ben! He pays attention to your wishes and he always honours his...


"Ben was the person responsible for finding a great opportunity for me. He immediately understood...


"Its a pleasure to recommend Hannah, she is professional and honest in her work.
I was able...


"Working with Georgia, was the best experience that I’ve ever had in the whole process of...


"In rare moments of my professional life have I been in contact with someone as professional,...


"I’m very pleased to recommend Hannah as a recruiter to work with. She is very talented really...


"Working with Georgia is a pleasure and a lesson too.
She is professional and the same time...


"I’ve had the pleasure of working with Georgia Wright several months ago.
I’ve been...


"It was a true pleasure to work with Elizabeth. Very responsive, understanding and focused on the...


"Since day one Elizabeth has been nothing but helpful, optimistic and cheerful. Her attitude is...


"It has been a pleasure to be guided by Elizabeth!
She’s a great person who gives good...


"It is my absolute pleasure to recommend Hannah to anyone who is thinking about a career move. I...


"Leon and the team at EMEA Recruiting handled my application with a dedication I have rarely...


"Hannah is an outstanding recruiter. She was a fantastic guide through my recruitment process and...


"From the first point of contact until getting the contract signed, I knew Emma as very...


"Georgia is a professional, enthusiastic person, able to create strong and long term relationship...


"Elizabeth got in touch with me when I started looking for a new challenge a couple of months...


“I was 200% happy about the service Emma provided. I take that opportunity to thank you...


"Hannah is a very professional recruiter. The candidates she presented were a very good match...


"Hannah was the most professional recruiter that I've worked with thus far. She helped me with my...


"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Michelle for the valuable assistance...


"I would like to thank you Elizabeth for the great job you've done.
I have been amazed by...


"Hannah is fantastic at her job. She helped me to find my first job in Amsterdam. From the first...


"Michelle is a great super positive person, with nice and gentle communication style, very...


"John Byrne at EMEA Recruitment in Switzerland was outstanding in his professionalism, whilst...


"It was really a pleasure working together with Georgia Wright in order to find out a good job...


“Jenny and Elizabeth displayed professionalism and effectiveness right from the first call....


"Hannah was a great help for me to find my next role in Amsterdam. She was always available for...


 

''I very much recommend Ben for his recruitment abilities following his help in our...


“Elizabeth helped me a lot during the preparation for my job opportunity. She was always...


"Since the very beginning of my contact with Elizabeth I realized how professional, motivated and...


"Throughout my career, I have worked with several recruitment agencies but EMEA recruitment- and...


"In the summer 2017 I was sure about my next career movement and what I will be doing in the...


"I am very pleased with the collaboration I had with Georgia Wright to land an exciting...


"My experience of working with John was exceptional. From initial contact until he successfully...


"Jenny Callum is a brilliant and professional recruiter I happily met in my life. Having solid...


"I have been thinking a lot of our cooperation and I didn't find any part which should be changed...


"Meriel made the process of applying for the role simple from start to finish, and helped make an...


"I cannot praise or thank Meriel enough for the support she gave me in finding a new role in...


" I would like to thank Michelle for her full support and dedication each step of the way during...


"Jenny Callum should definitely become employee of the year! A true professional in her...


"I would like to extend my gratitude to Jenny Callum for her guidance and preparation in the...


"I want to thank Michelle for her great support and help during my Job hunt, she really is...


“Michelle Ewing is an excellent professional. She guided me through the entire process by...


“I am very grateful for Michelle’s hard work and support throughout the process. From the...


“It was a pleasure working with Michelle. Besides the fact that she is a very nice person she...


"Over the past years I have been in contact with several different recruiters in Switzerland...


"Hannah is one of the best recruiters that I have ever come across. She is a great professional,...


"I got to know Paul and his team as a candidate. What could otherwise have been a stressful...


"I worked with Hannah recently and respect the timely and professional manner in how...


"I really liked working with Sian. She was very professional in each stage, especially...


"Of course, I can recommend Hannah, she is one of the few consultants who is capable of...


"I was lucky enough to encounter Hannah in my search for a new role. Hannah's advice and...


"I worked with Richard recently as a candidate. He was extremely professional and provided...


"I worked with Hannah and she is a fantastic recruitment consultant. She was always happy to help...


"My recent experience with Paul on my recruitment process was a real difference compared to any...


"Football is simple...but it´s difficult to play simple football” - Johan Cruyff

How to...


"Michelle has been a fantastic help in finding my new role in Switzerland. Our calls and meetings...


"John is an excellent Recruitment Manager. He is extremely professional and always available to...


"I've worked with Paul both as a client as well as a candidate. As a client he worked tirelessly...


"I want to take the opportunity to thank Michelle and Sian for helping me during my period...


"Having not been actively seeking job opportunities in the past 10 years while working for a US...


"I have worked with Paul and his team recently as a candidate, and I received an exceptional and...


"Thanks John for helping find my career path in recycling. After 33 years in coal mining, I...


"I recently worked with Michelle to find a new position and it was a real success. Michelle got...


"Hannah recruited me for a new finance role during last month. The customer service experience...


"When the recruitment process started, one person from EMEA was assigned as my contact person. It...


"Michelle is an extremely professional, dedicated, experienced and helpful recruiter. She has...


 "I was looking for the next step forward in my career, and I found John to be a supportive,...


"I am very happy to share my topline regarding John. He is the most involved recruitment manager...


"I want to personally thank Izabela for having contacted me some months ago and enabling the...


"All in all, the recruitment process was very well coordinated. Hannah always provided the...


Paul handled my transition to my current position as Senior Director European Tax with Electronic...


Paul is an extremely professional, well-organized, and hard-working leader of his recruitment...


"My experience of working with Paul was exceptional. From initial contact until he...


"I want to thank Paul for all his support, professionalism and advice during the recruitment...


"I am really thankfull for Michelle's coaching and dedication and especially for her energy...


"I can warmly recommend Paul and EMEA Recruitment to anyone who wants to collaborate with a...


"John has tons of valuable information to share and is exceptionally committed to finding the...


"Michelle is a dynamic, not-for-profit recruitment professional taking on a big, new challenge in...


"I just wanted to thank Michelle for all her efforts and help during the job application and...


"It is with great pleasure that l take this opportunity to recommend Paul and his team. I...


"Michelle is eager to understand both the candidate's and customer's needs very well. I felt very...


"In my experience John Byrne provided me with the most professional consultancy I have had...


Richard is an excellent recruitment professional, and was responsible for finding me a placement...


"John provided first class support both during the interview process (I walked into that...


"John goes the extra mile to make sure the candidate and the recruiting company fit. Very...


"Paul is a great recruiting professional. He definitely helped me moving forward with my...


"Paul and his team have been an excellent support to our In-house Recruitment Team. They have...


"Meriel supported our recruitment for our Finance department. Meriel has been very effective...


"EMEA Recruitment, and Michelle in particular, was extremely professional in assisting me through...


"Paul was highly professional when dealing with him throughout my recruitment process. He ensured...


"Michelle proactively approached me for a job opportunity in the field I was working at the time....


"Michelle is a very professional person with strong work ethics. So she helped me to easily find...


"Michelle provided me with a very helpful career consultation and she put me in contact with...


"I would really recommend Meriel to assist anyone in finding a new job because of being...


"I have had the pleasure of working with Michelle Ewing to secure my next role. Michelle had a...


"I was very pleased with all the help I received with the process with EMEA. As someone who had...


"I can recommend Hannah because she helped me a lot with getting a new job. I was actually forced...


"It's been a great pleasure to work with Michelle as a candidate. I've particularly come to value...


"I was impressed with every step in the process, particularly with the meticulous preparation and...


"I had the pleasure of working with Hannah recently. She has the unique ability to adapt her deep...


"Michelle is an outstanding Recruitment Consultant, she was quickly able to decipher the key...


"Michelle positively differentiated herself from all other headhunters. Firstly by obtaining a...


"Hannah is a very experienced and knowledgeble HR specialist. She was very supportive and helpful...


"I really appreciate the contact with EMEA Recruitment and it is a great pleasure to recommend...


"Hannah is an excellent recruitment professional. In fact, the key aspect for me was her...


"I had the opportunity of working with Hannah during my career transition from Audit to...


"In my role as a candidate, Paul and his colleagues provided valuable coaching advice and...


"I worked with Meriel as she assisted me in a recruitment process, providing one of the best...


"Hannah was very helpful and found me a role that matches my experience, knowledge and my wishes...


"Hannah is by far the best recruiter I dealt with while trying to secure a role in Amsterdam...


"Hannah is an excellent professional. She successfully helped me with the next step in my career,...


Paul really listened and took on board everything I said, he gave a lot of sensible advice which...


Working with Paul was a great experience every step of the way. He made sure that I was well...


Paul is very dedicated in his work, he is gifted in both client and candidate partnering. From my...


I was approached by Richard regarding a specific opportunity with a business he was representing....


Paul was one the best headhunter I've worked with. He knew his clients really well. He would...


I got in contact with Paul and his company during an executive recruiting project. At the end of...


I work with Kelly who presented me several opportunities and helped me pro-actively in my job...


"Kelly has served me throughout late 2010 and early 2011 in targeting and obtaining interviews...


"Kelly of EMEA Recruitment contacted me regarding a Job opportunity within the same field as one...