American Swiss Foundation

Leader Spotlight

NavilleMartinMartin Naville (Swiss Advisory Council)

CEO, Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce

What can Americans learn from the Swiss?
In general, the value of time and sustainability. Fast moves and quarterly results do not always improve the result. It is like sailing: Wildly tacking is often slower than just holding one course for a longer time.

What can the Swiss learn from the Americans?
Risk taking! Failing in a new enterprise is a great sign of trying hard and having the guts to call it quits if it does not work. It is not bad to fall, but it is important to get up fast. Too often in Switzerland, a failure is seen as a moral deficiency.

What defines your leadership style?
“Managing by herding”. I try not to micro-manage, but rather give everybody a wide latitude. However, should the person stray too far from the herd, an adjustment (in herding language: a bark from the dog) is necessary.

What qualities do you most admire in a person?
Brilliance coupled with modesty and down-to-earth behavior.

What are your greatest strengths? 
Eagerness to never to stop wondering what is behind the next bend in the road. And the ability to take complex matters and explain them to others using simple words.

What is your greatest weakness?
Need for an exciting and motivating environment.

Where do you live?
In Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland.

Where are you from? 
Geneva, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

What is your favorite leisure activity?
Travelling, reading and competing with my sons (15 and 18) in skiing, waterskiing, table tennis, tennis, chess, and many more.

What is your goal in life? 
Create a harmonious environment in the family and the job and help to move a few topics in the right direction.



About Martin Naville

Martin Naville has served as Chief Executive Officer of the 2,500 member Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce since 2004. He serves as member of the Board of Directors of Lombard International Assurance SA and as a Member of the Board of Directors of Swissquote Group Holding SA and Swissquote Bank Ltd, and is the Chairman of the Zürich Zoo. Previously, he held various positions at the Boston Consulting Group, most recently as Partner and Director of the Zürich office, and with JP Morgan. He holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Zürich. Mr. Naville is a member of the Swiss Advisory Council of the American Swiss Foundation.

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