Robert Habersaat joins GHIELMETTI as VP Sales & Marketing

Hans Peter Schwaninger, CEO of GHIELMETTI AG with Robert Habersaat, VP Sales & Marketing and member of the board of directors

Robert Habersaat has joined GHIELMETTI as VP Sales & Marketing and member of the board of directors responsible for the global distribution channels of the Swiss based company.

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Robert brings a degree in electrical engineering and more than 20 years of experience in the professional audio industry. Having begun his career with management positions at commercial Radio and TV stations in Switzerland he joined STUDER in 1996 first working as Area Sales Manager before taking responsibilities as VP Sales and General Manager.

Speaking on his appointment Habersaat says: «GHIELMETTI has always stood for excellence and highest quality made in Switzerland. I am proud to be part of a highly skilled and motivated team and greatly looking forward to my new role.»

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Hans Peter Schwaninger, CEO of GHIELMETTI AG comments: «I am happy to see Robert in my team. As an insider in Multimedia Technology he can support best possible our international customers and open new markets for GHIELMETTI. With his expertise we can offer our customers individual know-how and support.»

GHIELMETTI has been founded in 1912 by Franz Ghielmetti in Berne and is today a leading manufacturer in Multimedia Communication and Industry Automation. Based in Switzerland the privately owned company designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of products for broadcast, energy supply and air traffic control.

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Interview with Robert Habersaat, VP Sales & Marketing at GHIELMETTI AG

After almost 20 years with well-known mixing console manufacturer STUDER, in your last position as General Manager of the Swiss head office, you are now with GHIELMETTI, why?
STUDER significantly influenced my professional career, and I learned all aspects of a manufacturing company with international distribution of high-end products.  I had the opportunity to gain qualifications and experience at different levels with STUDER and the parent company Harman International. In a corporate environment, very often ideas, innovations and approaches have to follow corporate interests, at Ghielmetti I have the opportunity to exert direct influence on-site and bring in my experience and network immediately.

How did the connection with GHIELMETTI come about?
I have known Hans Peter Schwaninger, the owner and CEO of GHIELMETTI for a long time – Swiss Manufacturers traditionally have a good contact among themselves. Rather incidentally we got talking on the company succession. GHIELMETTI is a very solid company with highly qualified employees and its own, modern production infrastructure. The company succession was on the agenda since quite some time without any time pressure. In such environment we found quite quickly an agreement.

And you are now the new owner of GHIELMETTI?
No, a good thing is worth waiting for.  With acquiring a share package, I am co-owner of the company in the role of VP Sales & Marketing. There is a mutual agreement enabling me to buy in a medium term all the shares from Hans Peter Schwaninger, who plans to retire within the next years. We are working very well together, having the same visions about how to manage and lead a company like GHIELMETTI, and get along together excellently. These are very good conditions for the succession in the company.

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GHIELMETTI manufactures in Switzerland with disadvantages against competition producing at lower cost abroad. How to be competitive in the market?
Producing in Switzerland is not a disadvantage. Having a highly qualified staff, living in an environment offering a very high quality of life supports a high manufacturing quality, one of the key success factors of GHIELMETTI. I know from my own experience that production costs often are not higher, considering also warranty or service and support costs. Having all departments together under one roof at GHIELMETTI's head office allows short communication paths and maximum efficiency. Thus R&D and Production e.g. are door to door. Decisions can be made and implemented within very short time.

The business is in the process of a major technological change. How will GHIEMETTI face such challenges?
In the past GHIELMETTI has repeatedly proved to be innovative and able to implement new technologies - for example Audio-over-IP technologies like Ravenna, Dante, or LiveWire with upcoming cross-platform standard AES67. We are actually working on different projects, requiring connectivity to such networks. Thanks to our flexibility we are even able to provide custom made solutions. Furthermore GHIELMETTI has, besides the important Pro Audio/Video business, other pillars with products for power supply, transport and air traffic control customers.

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What will change for the customer?
GHIELMETTI will remain as reliable and innovative as it has been in the past. Of course we are always interested to learn even better the customer’s requirements to improve our products, this is a permanent process. In future we will focus even more on markets with potential to promote GHIELMETTI products, such as North America or important emerging markets in Asia or Latin America.

About Robert Habersaat
Robert brings a degree in electrical engineering and more than 20 years of experience in the professional audio industry. Having begun his career with management positions at commercial Radio and TV stations in Switzerland he joined STUDER in 1996 first working as Area Sales Manager before taking responsibilities as VP Sales and General Manager. As of November 1st 2014 Robert Habersaat takes the role of VP Sales & Marketing at GHIELMETTI AG.

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About GHIELMETTI AG
GHIELMETTI has been founded in 1912 by Franz Ghielmetti in Berne and is today a leading manufacturer in Multimedia Communication and Industry Automation. Based in Switzerland the privately owned company designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of products for broadcast, energy supply and air traffic control.

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