Cyrill Schuler - Director - Logitech EMEA Finance

What do you love about Switzerland and why?

As a native Swiss, this is a wonderful question to answer. But I think the wonders of Switzerland are obvious to anyone who lives and works here. In business, I'd call out Switzerland's capacity for innovation, high quality products, and excellent education and management skills. Personally, I love skiing and mountain biking - we have breathtaking mountains and views.

What do you think are the major challenges that lie ahead for Switzerland's growth?

I do not intend to give the Federal government or its institutions advice on the economy, but I can share some of Logitech's recipe for growth. Our co-founder, Daniel Borel, says that "success is never final". He's so right. The day you succeed at something, you should move towards your next success. Logitech designs dozens of products every year in an industry full of competitors, many of whom are inspired by our innovation and follow quickly after. That means we can never be satisfied with our success. We need to move fast and innovate. Last fiscal year we grew three new businesses into our portfolio - mobile speakers, video collaboration products for small and medium sized businesses, and accessories for tablet computers. They contributed around $380 million dollars to our sales. This is a great example of the need to move fast, innovate and keep moving. Whatever the future for Switzerland's growth, I'm convinced we'll succeed.

How does your organization stand out from the market and your competitors?

I've already described Logitech's ability to move fast and innovate. That sounds easy, but for a global organisation with around 7000 employees, it's a daily challenge. We have a "small company" culture at Logitech to help keep us hungry and lean, like a start-up. As a start-up you have nothing to lose - decisions get made and you move fast. That's what we aim for, no matter how big we grow. Big companies can all too easily be slowed down by bureaucracy, hierarchy and the complacency of size. We work to being the same speed into our innovation machine - prototyping ideas and iterations of our products very rapidly in order to fail, learn and perfect them as quickly as possible. We have also recently integrated a culture of design into our product innovation machine, ensuring our product experiences reflect art as well as science.

What are your growth plans?

Over the past two years we've worked hard on our profitability - it has tripled over that time period. We're now accelerating our growth transformation. For the current fiscal year, our outlook is to achieve 7% growth in our retail business in constant currency.

What challenges await your business and how will you overcome them?

Like every business, we face innumerable challenges. The PC and iPad markets are currently in decline, the strong dollar creates headwinds for our sales. Nevertheless, we never expect to be doing business without challenges and believe our strategy to be the right one.

What excites you about working for Logitech?

I've touched upon the reasons already - small company culture, the speed of the business... It's a wonderfully fast and inspiring culture built on the back of a great team of people.

If you could give your younger self career advice, what would it be?

Keep on learning - the world is changing so fast, you have to keep looking at it with a new pair of eyes.

What do you feel makes an effective sparring partner?

Someone once said that strategy without numbers is poetry. Said differently, strategy without numbers is just words. The point is that great strategies yield great numbers, and that really is what I love in my job. In partnership with my business leads, we frame strategies that yield growth, margin and cash. To succeed you need to convert data into insights, and insights into actions and lead organizations to ultimately impact positively our business. Being in finance, numbers are definitely a form of “professional poetry” but above all leadership and impact is what counts.

What are your personal motivators?

To have fun a work - it's a large part of your life. I love that I don't know what a day will be made of. I also admit to specifically enjoying working for Logitech. There's something new every day and I work with people who truly believe they can change the world if they put their mind to it.

When did you decide to explore a career in this area and why?

I better not admit that it was as early as 13 years old. Did I say that out loud?

How did you plan out your career path?

My first big job was with P&G - probably one of the best leadership “academies”. On-the-job experience and career progression there is a career plan in itself. That said, at the heart of a career, will always be a vision to achieve, a passion to pursue ... and the ability to identify the right opportunities.

What recruitment challenged do you face?

The idea some people have of Logitech is a Logitech from the traditional world of the PC. That's how we built our business. For the past two or three years, we've been reinventing ourselves. Our people, culture, product lines, leadership and brand are all very different, keeping the best of who we've always been. Every new candidate needs to be brought up to speed on this.

What attributes do you look for when choosing a recruitment partner?

The most important element in my opinion is a partner who takes the time to understand the company and role in order to identify the right profiles. EMEA Recruitment did just this - it took the necessary time rather than rushing in.

What advice would you give to future aspiring leaders or someone aspiring to be where you are now?

Branson is great, but there is not necessarily a need to be Branson to inspire. There are lots of talented people around you. If you learn from and emulate the best of them you're already on a good path. Also, it's important to learn that what you learn is often not what actually happens!

 

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

 
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