An interview with CEO Peter Spirig
Mr Spirig, your V-ZUG career is still very much in its infancy, but have you had any particular positive experiences in your time here that you could tell us about?
Absolutely! I could reel off plenty, in fact, because there is nothing better than seeing our customers’ eyes sparkle when they talk about our appliances. I am also constantly impressed by the pride for our brand and the success of our high-quality products that our employees share with the outside world.
How would you like to contribute to V-ZUG’s success as CEO?
My job is all about creating an environment and a corporate culture that facilitates innovation and allows employees to develop to their full potential. I also think it is particularly important for me to interact with customers, engage with the market, and listen carefully to what they’re saying. I have to be able to maintain a balance between internal and external matters and find a common platform where I can unite these in the right context.
Where do you want your aspirations to take V-ZUG in the future?
We want to develop into a future where our services and products are not just relevant to our customers – they’re indispensable. This means making our customers’ lives easier, more pleasant and more enjoyable. We have to focus on establishing products and digital solutions that make it easy for our customers to own and use our appliances. We are already number one in the Swiss market, but we want to gain a stronger foothold in the international markets we consider relevant. This also includes strengthening our position as a sustainable company.
Every company wants to be sustainable. What is V-ZUG doing in concrete terms to live up to its sustainability aspirations?
The topic of sustainability is firmly anchored within our overall strategy. Sustainability is not simply an afterthought for us; it permeates the entire strategy of the company and comes into play in everything we do. It really is an integral part of V-ZUG and I can highlight this for you with three concrete ambitions we are in the process of working towards: The continuous reduction of CO2 emissions, the ongoing development of our employees, and the transformation of our site within the Tech Cluster Zug. We have been CO2-neutral since 2020, which essentially means we compensate for what we cannot save. But we will soon be able to save even more, as the low-CO2 and largely autonomous Multi Energy Hub (MEH) will supply us with as much locally renewable energy as possible from photovoltaics, groundwater and lake water going forward. Our collaboration with the Tech Cluster Zug is an investment with great significance. As a Group, we are committed to supporting socially acceptable housing in Zug and contributing to an ecosystem that will be shaped by innovative technologies and the networking of creative systems. It makes us incredibly proud that we are in a position to make this kind of contribution. We also want to make sure our employees are well prepared for the future, which is why we invest in not only continuous training for our employees, but also occupational safety.
What does sustainability mean to you both on a personal level and as CEO of a traditional company?
The values of quality and durability that our company stands for are as important to me on a personal level as they are on a professional one. For me as CEO of V-ZUG, this means that we have to minimise our consumption of resources, keep the longevity of our products high, and pay attention to the recyclability of our materials. Durability in particular encompasses several levels. It goes without saying that an appliance has to function perfectly for as long as possible, for example, but it also has to be timeless and meet the needs of our customers for many years to come. Whether it’s in the development of innovative products or in their private everyday lives, everyone can make a contribution by being a conscientious consumer. For these aspirations to become a reality in the long term, however, another dimension also has to be taken into account: We have to achieve a solid return on investment that allows us to continue investing in innovation and sustainability in the future.
Responsible management of resources and employees poses numerous challenges. What challenges do you see for our company in general?
We have to stay focused and pool our strengths where we can. This means choosing our direction for the future with care, attention and a clear goal in mind. In doing so, we have to move together in the same direction with a clear, unified vision rather than allowing ourselves to be sidetracked by peripheral issues.
What are your core values, both personally and in your function as CEO?
I am open, honest and transparent. These are the values I stand for personally and I want us to instil them within our company. I think it’s just as important to celebrate successes as it is to point out undesirable developments and resolve them with a solution-oriented approach for a sustainably successful V-ZUG brand.
About Peter Spirig
Peter Spirig studied Civil Engineering at ETH Zurich and holds an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau. He has been CEO of the V-ZUG Group since September 2020. Prior to joining V-ZUG, he headed up the Doors Division (main markets Germany, Switzerland, East-Central Europe) as a member of the Group Executive Board of Arbonia AG. From 2009 to 2016, Peter Spirig was responsible for the Asian activities of the Franke Group, prior to which his roles included working for LafargeHolcim in Asia for 7 years.