CEO Interview

“Well on track towards our goals”

Yves Serra, CEO

Mr. Serra, in 2016, GF has started the implementation of its Strategy 2020. How satisfied are you with the progress?

It has been a promising start. All relevant financial figures have been further increased and are in line with the target ranges we announced in February 2016. Today, all three divisions of GF generate a high amount of value for our shareholders. Furthermore, visible progress has been made regarding our key strategic thrusts. We are well on track towards our goals.

Could you give us a few examples of this progress?

In Europe, for example, we further optimized the efficiency of our factories. A key factor behind this is the continuous automatization of our manufacturing processes, especially at GF Automotive, where robots have been and will be installed to handle tasks too dangerous or cumbersome for our employees, such as heavy loads or the transport of hot components. Furthermore, we are step-by-step shifting the portfolio of our three divisions towards businesses that generate more value for our customers as well as for our shareholders.

What does that mean in concrete terms? What have the divisions done in order to generate more value for customers?

At GF Piping Systems, we developed pre-insulated polyethylene based systems for the transport of cooling media for air-conditioning. Our innovation called COOL-FIT 2.0 allows our customers to reduce the installation time by half and energy use by one third whilst offering lower costs than existing metal-based transport pipes, which require a cumbersome on-site isolation, and are prone to corrosion and condensation.

At GF Machining Solutions, we extended our technology portfolio by developing and launching femtosecond laser machines able to structure surfaces in any way our customers would like, offering the possibility to replace chemical etching or manual texturing processes used for the production of camera lenses or in watch-making.

Teamwork has become a very important part of our culture, which we will continue to nurture.

How important is the topic of innovation for GF?

For a Swiss company like GF, faced with a very strong home currency, innovation is our lifeblood. In this respect, I would like to thank our customers whose input and feedback guide our innovation efforts. In a very real sense, our customers are our best R&D engineers.

In your opinion: What is the most important ingredient for success at GF?

It is the commitment and collaborative spirit of our employees worldwide. Our strong teamwork across borders has been a key factor behind the greatest successes we have had, owing to a better understanding of our customers and a quicker response to their needs. Teamwork has become a very important part of our culture, which we will continue to nurture.

The GF Executive Committee from left to right: Josef Edbauer (Head of GF Automotive), Joost Geginat (Head of GF Piping Systems), Yves Serra (CEO), Andreas Müller (CFO), Pascal Boillat (Head of GF Machining Solutions).