Matthias Hermle hands over the CEO position of IMD Ltd. to Marc Wymann

By September 23, 2021 IMDvista

IMD Ltd.

Matthias Hermle hands over the CEO position of IMD Ltd. to Marc Wymann

The company owner and founder, Matthias Hermle (pictured left), will focus on his role as active Chairman of the Board of Directors of IMD Ltd. and CAPrint Ltd.

Marc Wymann will take over as the new CEO of IMD Ltd. on November 1, 2021. After a transition period of 3 months, he will take over the executive lead from company founder, Matthias Hermle. Matthias Hermle will then focus on the strategic area of IMD Ltd. and CAPrint Ltd. as active Chairman of the Board of Directors and support innovations.

Marc Wymann, CEO-to-be IMD Ltd.

Matthias Hermle, Owner and Chairman of the Board IMD Ltd.

Everything has its season. IMD Ltd. is in a good position, stable and ready to grow further. After more than 25 years in the lead of IMD Ltd., the perfect time has come for Matthias Hermle to hand over into new hands and take care of the strategic area. He will actively support the management in order to align IMD Ltd. well for the future in the medium and long term. He sees a lot of potential in approaching innovations differently.

With Marc Wymann, he has found a successor who fits perfectly into the IMD family. With his passion for technology and sales, a flair for employee management, business know-how and a backpack full of management experience, he is ideally equipped to lead the IMD family into the future together with the well- established management team and the employees.

«I’m not coming to turn everything upside down, I’m coming to support and develop what already exists», tells Marc Wymann about his goals. During his introduction period, he first wants to get to know the company with all its employees, customers, processes and all the other exciting facets and understand how the market works. His main goal is to continue the company, which has been successfully built up over the past 25 years, in the spirit of the company’s founder, to optimize where reasonable and to break new ground where appropriate.

Matthias Hermle in his new role as active Chairman of the Board of Directors of IMD Ltd. and CAPrint Ltd.

Everything has its season. After more than 25 years, Matthias Hermle will retire from the CEO position to focus himself to the strategic area and innovations. Read more in the interview.

Will Matthias Hermle really step back? Leave his company, which he has built up over the last 25 years together with his team, to a new managing director? Read in the interview what Matthias Hermle tells us about it.

The plan looks like this: Marc Wymann will take over as the new CEO of IMD Ltd. on November 1, 2021. After a transition period of 3 months, he will take over the position from company founder Matthias Hermle. Matthias Hermle will then focus on the strategic area as an active Chairman of the Board of Directors for IMD Ltd. and CAPrint Ltd. and drive innovations.

Matthias Hermle, Owner and Chairman of the Board of IMD Ltd. and CAPrint Ltd.

«Innovation is the only chance to survive for a small high-tech company in Switzerland. We have to be better than others over and over again. I am happy to be able to invest more energy in innovation again.»

Interview with Matthias Hermle:

Why this change in leadership and why now?
I had been thinking about a change in management for some time. But then it was a question of steering the company safely through the Corona crisis. Now is exactly the right time. The company is in a good shape, stable and ready to grow further. Now it’s time to open a new chapter. And fortunately, my timing fits perfectly with Marc Wymann’s professional plans for the future.

How do you see the future of IMD Ltd.?
I see great growth in the next 2 to 4 years. We will also be able to position ourselves even more broadly because the basic technology can be used very flexible. In today’s increasing awareness of the circular economy (recycling), visual inspection systems are a key component of production facilities. We are only at the beginning and especially Artificial Intelligence (AI) will still make things possible that many are not even thinking about yet. Discussions with machine manufacturers and producers show this again and again very impressively.

What does this mean for IMD’s long-term customers?
Actually, not much will change for customers. I will not break off the many great contacts and friendships and will even have more time to deepen conversations so that we can make a better world together ((laughs)). I have not been directly on the «front line» for a long time and so quite a few customers will not notice much at all. Since long, we have distributed the contacts and areas widely among our employees so that we can always be close to the customer and their projects.

What tasks will you perform as active Chairman of the Board of Directors?
I will take care of strategic issues. It is important to align the company well for the future in mid and long term. I see a big potential in approaching “innovations” in a completely different way, without having always to worry about daily business.

Innovation is the only chance to survive for a small high-tech company in Switzerland. We have to be better than others over and over again. We develop, plan and build everything in Switzerland. This is our success model, which has been challenged on a regular base.

How did you find Marc Wymann, the new CEO?
When I and my wife took the final decision to hand over to a new CEO at the beginning of 2021, we thought about who in our social environment could be considered for this position. We couldn’t think of anyone we do not know because the level of trust to this person has to be very high. In the other hand, the candidate should also be not “too close” to us. So, two candidates remained and finally Marc Wymann was the choice.

We have known Marc Wymann for a long time and the paths in our lifes have crossed again and again. He is the ideal candidate and will give IMD new, good and «different» impulses without the need to change everything. He has similar, even often the same point of views of what is good and bad and the way we see things is very compatible. Nevertheless, he is different, has different strengths and weaknesses than I do, and that is how it should be.

How did you explain to him what to expect in his role?
((laughs)) That was a very interesting process for me. I couldn’t imagine simply writing a job description … so I spent a few weeks writing down all the things I do and I am involved in, day by day, week by week etc. Then, I listed everything by type of work, frequency, area, and skills it takes to make it a success. Defining the goals of every task was also quite a challenge. Finally, I did ask myself task by task whether this really is a «CEO task» or not. Am I just doing it because I’m Matthias? If you have built up the whole thing from scratch you know a lot, maybe sometimes too much and you may do things, others should do.

Honestly, I knew that there was a lot coming at me day by day … but nevertheless, going through the list I was still surprised how long it finally ended up. After going through the list with Marc, we both know that he is now aware of every single task he will be facing in his new role. This is a very good starting point to start into this «adventure» together.

As a company founder, can you step back?
((thoughtful)) Yes, I can. 25 years is a long time and I have invested a lot of energy.
In 2008 I was in a similar situation when I realized that the company cannot depend only on me. At that time, we expanded the management by 4 colleagues. That was a milestone in the development of the company. And even then I was able to let my colleagues do their job in their area and I have no problem if someone does things differently. At the end of the day, it’s about the core values of the company, and this DNA is deeply rooted.

How do you see your role in the coming months?
Handing over, handing over and handing over again: It’s about introducing my successor, Marc Wymann, to the DNA of IMD. In the first 3 months, we plan that he will accompany me and simply see how and why I do and approach things. In about 3 months he should then take over and in the following 3 months I will accompany him and support whenever he needs me. After that, it’s important that I leave the «playground» to him and step back completely from the executive management.

What are you looking forward to?
Taking challenges, without having pressure from the daily business. Yes, I am really looking forward to this.

I’m not really the «lounge chair» type. I love to initiate and implement new things. Being innovative is what drives me. Solving things particularly well and cleverly, making complex things look simple and always questioning whether there is no better way to do it … that’s what I really enjoy, this is my passion!

Portrait: Marc Wymann, prospective CEO of IMD Ltd.

Who will follow in the great footsteps of the company’s founder, Matthias Hermle? In the interview, we get to know Marc Wymann a little better.

The IMD family is eagerly awaiting Marc Wymann, the CEO-to-be! What does he bring with him? How does he think? What are his plans? Many questions – here in the interview you will find the first answers from Marc Wymann.

Marc Wymann will take over as the new CEO of IMD Ltd. on November 1, 2021. After a transition period of 3 months, he will take over the operational management from company founder Matthias Hermle. Matthias Hermle will then focus on the strategic area as active Chairman of the Board of Directors of IMD Ltd. and CAPrint Ltd. and support innovations. We can expect many more innovations when Matthias Hermle has more time to focus on his passion.

Marc Wymann, CEO-to-be IMD Ltd.

«I’m not coming to turn everything upside down, I’m coming to support and develop what already exists.»

Interview with Marc Wymann:

You are following in big footsteps at IMD!
Oh yes, I am aware of that! I’m taking over the tasks that the company’s founder, Matthias Hermle, previously performed with an enormous amount of heart and soul. Those are big shoes to fill. I am therefore even more pleased that Matthias will continue to support the company, even though in a different role, and will assist me with advice and support where necessary.

What can you expect in your new role as CEO at IMD?
As I perceived it during the application process, on the one hand I can expect a «family» with a great culture, employees with a great passion for our products and a lot of commitment, which they put into their work every day. On the other hand, personal, new challenges await me. New employees, new processes, new products and new customers. I am very much looking forward to getting to know all the new things, to deal with them, to combine them with my existing knowledge and experience from the different areas and use all this to lead IMD successfully into the future.

What values are particularly important to you?
In addition to what I consider to be important core values such as trust, openness, honesty and respect, my understanding of leadership also requires values such as authenticity, personal responsibility, enthusiasm, professionalism, courage and a good dose of humor. All this accompanied by «CS», common sense. I try to exemplify these values in my daily work, but also to demand them.

Can you give us some more insight into your career?
For me, starting at IMD is comparable to coming home. I started my journey about 30 years ago in the plant engineering industry as an electronics technician and commercial employee. This fundamentally different training opened me the door to product management in the telecom industry, where I gained experience in product design, production and international sales. After further training in marketing and business administration, I was given the opportunity to lead my first team in product marketing.

Since personal development is important to me, I decided a little later to go completely to the sales front and became sales manager in a branch system. The longer I was in charge, the more I realized that leading and developing people was something I enjoyed doing. So, for the last 15 years or so, I have been on the road as a sales manager in various industries and corporate groups and have been able to gather a lot of exciting experience.

Now I’m coming back to an SME, to an industry I chose a long time ago to start my career, to people I still know in part from that time, to IMD, which has fascinated me since the moment Matthias founded it – a coming home.

Where do you recharge your batteries for the challenges ahead?
I’m lucky that I’m not moving immediately from the old job to the new one and that I have about 3 weeks to prepare for the start at IMD. After that, as before, my family, my various commitments in sports clubs and «me-time» with an exciting book and a good cup of coffee or tea will be my sources of energy. Feeling the daily commitment of my colleagues and celebrating successes together will give me the extra power to master these challenges.

What experience from your activities at large corporations will be helpful to you in your new role as CEO of an SME?
I was able to gather both good and not so good experiences in the large corporations, which certainly shaped me and which I will bring to IMD as a person. In concrete terms, however, I will take with me the experience of my management work with different stakeholders. Because there is no difference between a large corporation and an SME: the employee is the most important asset a company has. And this asset has to be cared for in the best possible way and given honest appreciation.