Swiss CIO Award 2016

AMAG CIO Patrick Freudiger receives the CIO Award 2016

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The CIO of Swiss automobile importer AMAG, Patrick Freudiger, has been presented with the award for best CIO (Chief Information Officer). The award was presented on 22 September 2016 at the 5th Confare Swiss CIO & IT Manager Summit in Zurich. The IT heads of Belimed, iba AG, LaFargeHolcim, Pestalozzi Group and Ringier Axel Springer were voted #TopCIOs 2016. The Swiss CIO Award is the most prestigious award in the industry and is presented by professional training company Confare in collaboration with audit and advisory firm EY.

ZURICH, 22 SEPTEMBER 2016 – Patrick Freudiger, CIO and member of the Executive Board of AMAG Automobil- und Motoren AG, has been named 2016’s IT Manager of the Year. “Being presented with the CIO Award means a tremendous amount to me and my team. It is an expression of appreciation and confirmation by a neutral party of our delivery of an above-average performance. I would not have been able to bring AMAG IT to where it is today without the support of an outstanding team,” commented Freudiger on the importance of the award. He went on to say that taking part in the CIO Summit gave him the opportunity to critically reflect on and validate his own contribution and duly take measures for the future.

Top CIOs of 2016
A high-profile jury was entrusted with the task of selecting the #TopCIOs 2016 from the numerous candidates submitted. The decisive factors were various management aspects ranging from the candidates’ strategic contribution to their corporate success, from how they embrace technology right through to their management style. Oliver Gilbert (CIO, Belimed Group), Roland Burger (CIO, iba AG), Thomas Gläser (Head of IT, Pestalozzi + Co AG), Khushnud Irani (CIO, LafargeHolcim) and Helmut Krasnik (Group CIO, Ringier Axel Springer Media AG) were voted #TopCIOs 2016.

The jury of the Swiss CIO Award did not evaluate any projects implemented but examined the CIO’s performance as a manager overall. In this age of digitization, technology no longer imposes a limit on what is possible, but rather dictates how it can be implemented in an innovative manner within a company. For this reason, aspects such as management style, innovative strength and positioning are subject to the same scrutiny as strategy and forward-looking organization.

Jury impressed by the nominations
Andreas Toggwyler, Partner and Head IT Risk and Assurance at EY Switzerland, chaired the jury, which comprises high-profile CIOs, university representatives and EY specialists. “We have once again received nominations for a large number of high-quality candidates from major groups through to SMEs. The tasks of the CIO are becoming increasingly complex, with the manager’s personality often playing a key role in the success or failure of a project. This was evident at a number of companies.”  

Permanent fixture in the Swiss IT landscape
Some 150 high-profile IT decision makers met on the occasion of the 5th Confare Swiss CIO & IT Manager Summit in Zurich. The paradox of digitization was discussed according to the motto of “Focus on the human factor”: the increasing advancement of technology is pushing the human factor into the background. Sharing of experiences and training are key factors in coming to grips with this change. The annual whole-day summit provides the ideal backdrop for a meeting of international standing of Swiss IT professionals. The numerous speakers feature top IT decision makers from Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

The Confare Swiss CIO Award
Michael Ghezzo, Confare founder and the initiator of the Swiss CIO Award, explains what is behind it: “The CIO Award is naturally a special opportunity for IT professionals to advance their careers, but is far more than just a trophy. It provides an excellent overview of the goals they have reached and of the areas in which future action is needed. Being appointed a Top CIO offers transparency regarding an individual’s own performance, while providing them with the opportunity to learn from the best in the industry.”

The Confare CIO Summit
“The demands made of a CIO are manifold. Sharing of experience has never been as vital as it is today,” explains Michael Ghezzo. “No other event involves as much sharing of experience and transfer of know-how as the CIO SUMMIT. Our goal: the coming together of 150 top managers must give rise to some sort of change – ideas should be implanted in people’s minds, and trends and their impact should be rendered more readily understandable.” Sharing of experiences and the appreciation expressed by the Confare CIO Award will continue to be important. The 6th Swiss CIO & IT Manager Summit has already been scheduled for September 2017. Nominations can be submitted for the CIO Award up until 30 July 2017. The documentation to be submitted can be found at www.cioaward.ch from summer 2016.


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EY’s organization is represented in Switzerland by Ernst & Young Ltd, Basel, with ten offices across Switzerland, and in Liechtenstein by Ernst & Young AG, Vaduz. In this publication, “EY” and “we” refer to Ernst & Young Ltd, Basel, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.