After the operational management of the company was passed on four years ago to the third generation, followed by the transfer of company shares two years later, the Swiss family company Läderach – Chocolatier Suisse completed its long-term generational transition in 2021.
Ennenda, 22 December 2021 – During the annual general meeting on 16 December 2021, Jürg Läderach, who has managed the company as Chairman of the Board of Directors and, until 2018, as CEO, and his wife, Esther Läderach, who has served on the Board of Directors since 2001, did not stand for re-election. Both belong to the second generation, which successfully managed and further developed the globally active family company headquartered in the canton of Glarus in Switzerland.
The owners elected Johannes Läderach as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors. Johannes Läderach belongs to the third generation and has sat on the Board of Directors of the company, which is 100% family-owned, since 2018. He will assume his new role on the board in addition to serving as CEO. Elias Läderach, a member of the company’s Executive Board and reigning World Chocolate Master, and David Läderach, who has managed the company’s operations in Germany since the beginning of the year, were also newly elected to the Board of Directors as representatives of the third generation.
With the resignation of Jürg and Esther Läderach, two prominent figures who helped shape the company over the course of more than three decades are passing the baton. Jürg Läderach is a pioneer in the Swiss chocolate industry and considered the inventor of “FrischSchoggi”, which is freshly made chocolate. Under his leadership as CEO and later as Chairman of the Board of Directors, Läderach developed from a B2B company into a premium brand in the retail industry. With its more than 1,300 employees from over 50 different countries worldwide, Läderach represents first-class, fresh chocolate made from sustainable production; both online and in 140 chocolate boutiques located in 16 different countries. Läderach continuously invests in quality. The company manufactures the basic mixture for its fresh chocolate exclusively in-house.
Caption: Jürg Läderach
Simultaneous progress was also made on the company’s expansion. In 2021, Läderach took over Godiva’s network of shops in the United States, which added more than 30 points of sale in one of the world’s largest markets. The digital transformation of the company was also set in motion during the past years.
“Läderach is strategically and economically very well positioned. This year, we were more than able to make up for the slump caused by COVID-19 in 2020. Our aim was to complete the gradual generational transition, which has been in the works for many years. My wife and I are grateful for the time we spent on helping shape the company through our respective positions of leadership, and we are proud of the team that we had the privilege to work with over many years. The success of Läderach would not have been possible without our many employees.
“Taking ownership also means to empower and to pass on responsibility. Like my father, we are consciously passing on responsibility to the next generation, who will lead the family company with all its employees into its next successful chapter,” says Jürg Läderach, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Läderach.
“After almost 60 years, Läderach has evolved into a true growth company focused on quality and innovation. We will continue to work on innovations with respect to the Läderach customer experience and particularly focus on the domestic market of Switzerland while also making headway towards internationalisation. Furthermore, we want to take even greater advantage of the opportunities for future growth afforded by digitalisation. As the third generation, we will benefit from what the first and second generations, our grandparents and parents, successfully created. Läderach is in an excellent position, for which I would like to thank Jürg and Esther Läderach on behalf of our family, the Executive Board, the Board of Directors and all Läderach employees. My father was always more than just the CEO or Chairman of the Board of Directors of Läderach. He was Läderach. He lived and breathed the company,” says Johannes Läderach, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Läderach.
As part of good, modern corporate governance, the family has been committed for many decades to working with independent members on the Board of Directors and Executive Board who do not belong to the family. In addition to Johannes, Elias and David Läderach, previous members Cornelia Ritz Bossicard, member of the Migros Board of Directors and the ETH Board, Andreas Pfluger, former member of the Executive Board of Lindt & Sprüngli (Schweiz) AG, and Walter Huber, former member of the Executive Board of the Migros Group, were re-elected to their positions.
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Caption (f.l.t.r.): David Läderach, Member of the Board of Directors and Managing Director Germany / Elias Läderach, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and Member of the Executive Board / Johannes Läderach, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO