An interview with Adrian Theiler

Mr Theiler, you joined the V-ZUG family as Director Operations in August 2021. What has impressed you most in your first few weeks as a new member of the family?

First of all, the massive commitment of the employees in their day-to-day work and their identification with the brand, which is palpable throughout the entire company. And secondly, I have been impressed by the warm and open reception I have received, which shows that there is a feeling of togetherness in the company, that we face challenges together, and I feel genuinely welcome. 

And how do you intend to leave a lasting impression?

I am keen to continue the successes the company enjoyed in 2021. The growth that V-ZUG Ltd is currently experiencing must now be reflected and streamlined even further in our processes, especially in of production. The focus should be on making every effort to implement smooth running throughout V-ZUG Ltd, and more particularly across the different sites. There is still room to optimise operations, learn from one another, align our processes and thus come closer together. And this doesn't just apply to procedures. V-ZUG Kühltechnik Ltd, for example, is a large and important part of V-ZUG, but is often still seen as being independent. We can create a greater feeling of unity and present ourselves as one strong company with the same visions and processes.

What will it take to come closer together? To become a unified entity?

The keyword is teamwork. If every employee is willing to think beyond their own field and if togetherness is embraced within the team, we can then pursue our development. As a new member of Executive Management, I would like to set an example and show that boundaries and walls are not necessary to be successful within a specific field and beyond. My rallying call to my team is as open as my door: we can only reach the summit by working together. I am committed to remaining close to the employees. Nevertheless, the workforce can and should also demand this proximity. 

You rely on teamwork and mutual trust. How important are these qualities in the private sphere?

Very important indeed. The analogy of the summit comes from one of my favourite leisure activities. In mountain climbing, you have to be able to count on each and every team member. Each individual must contribute certain skills and knowledge. However, you can only reach the summit if everyone trusts each other and the focus is on the safety of each individual in every situation. Once you realise that you must use your strengths purposefully as part of a unit and, when necessary, take a step back, you contribute to ensuring that something special can be achieved. I also embrace this as part of an orchestra, in which I play trombone. However, I equally enjoy relying on myself and my own skills. This is the case, for example, when I go skiing. I have to call on my own ability, my own skills and my concentration. 

You see yourself as a team player, so trust is crucial to you. How would former work colleagues or your friends and family describe you in just a few words? 

Committed, passionate, open and approachable. Some would probably also stress that I don’t think that you should always take everything too seriously. With me, there is always a little room for humour, fun, irony and an occasional provocative word here and there. 

If you want to talk directly with the production staff and gain an insight into the day-to-day production operations, you simply need to step outside your office. What are the opportunities and challenges that result from basing production in the very heart of Switzerland, at the head office in Zug?

Development, product management, design, marketing and production – combined strengths in a single location. This gives rise to a huge capacity to react quickly and flexibly to changes. When it is a question of taking quick and sustainable decisions, we don't need to deal with time zones, cultural differences or language barriers. That is a strength and, I would say, a secret ingredient of V-ZUG. As a company with a plant in the middle of a city, we need a special recipe. Furthermore, the costs incurred by our site force us to be as efficient as possible and to maintain the high quality of our work. And that doesn't only apply to Zug. Our head office is in the very heart of Switzerland, but we also produce goods in Zug, Sulgen and China.

Tradition. Sustainability. Innovation. How do you link these keywords with premium Swiss quality?

Tradition is the secret ingredient of V-ZUG. We have numerous long-time employees who not only possess a quite unbelievable know-how, but also uphold the tradition of the company and the brand. This shows that long-term investment in our employees is worth it at every level. Sustainable action helps us to write the next pages of the story – steeped in tradition – of V-ZUG. To maintain this over time, we need innovations at every level: innovative workplace concepts are just relevant as innovative production plants or the development of innovative solutions for our customers. The investments in the Zug and Sulgen sites underline these efforts.

About Adrian Theiler

Adrian Theiler studied Management and Manufacturing at ETH Zurich. He also completed the Executive MBA programme at the University of Zurich. Before joining V-ZUG, Mr Theiler was Vice President Supply Chain Management EMEA at Landis+Gyr. He had already worked for this company since 2003 in various roles in the Supply Chain and Logistics departments as well as managing business lines with P&L responsibilities.