Press release

30 Oct 2020 Zurich, CH

EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ 2020: The best entrepreneurs in Switzerland recognized

Zurich, 30 October 2020. For the 23rd time, the auditing and consulting firm EY has honored outstanding and deserving business personalities in Switzerland. A total of 60 entrepreneurs from all over Switzerland put themselves forward for the award; from the 15 finalists that were selected, the jury chose five winners.

  • „The five winners for 2020 have been chosen: Patrick Firmenich (Firmenich), Marek Dutkiewicz (HR Campus) and Avni Orllati (Groupe Orllati), as well as Michael Born and Karim Nemr (PXL Vision)
  • Daniel Borel (Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Logitech) has been recognized as "Master Entrepreneur" for his life's work
  • The award ceremony at the SRF Studio took place as part of a hybrid live gala attended by over 1,000 viewers from 20 countries

For the 23rd time, the auditing and consulting firm EY has honored outstanding and deserving business personalities in Switzerland. A total of 60 entrepreneurs from all over Switzerland put themselves forward for the award; from the 15 finalists that were selected, the jury chose the following five winners tonight:

  • Patrick Firmenich, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Firmenich, Geneva
    Winner in the category "Family Business," as he has maintained the tradition of the family-owned Company so successfully for many years that it is one of the top companies worldwide. Patrick Firmenich is the family Delegate and Chairman of a traditional family business founded in 1895. The largest private fragrance and aroma company is now active in more than 100 markets. More than 10,000 people worldwide work for the Swiss Company.
  • „Marek Dutkiewicz, Founder and CEO of HR Campus, Dübendorf (ZH)
    Winner in the category "Services/Trade" because his CV shows that real entrepreneurship knows no borders. Marek Dutkiewicz came to Switzerland as a Polish refugee and started his Company HR Campus in 1998 as a technology provider for human resources departments. Today, with more than 160 employees, the Company is the leading service and IT provider dedicated to HR excellence. The tools, solutions and platforms cover the entire employee life cycle for HR professionals.
  • „Avni Orllati, Founder and Board Delegate at Groupe Orllati, Bioley-Orjulaz (VD)
    Winner in the category "Industry/High-Tech/Life Sciences" in recognition of his hard work that led to an inspiring founding story. In 1997, at the age of 21, Avni and his twin brother set up their own Company by renting a machine that broke up concrete. Today, Orllati is a leading provider in the field of "green construction" and employs more than 850 people in western Switzerland. The Company specializes in all areas of preparatory construction, such as demolition work, earthworks, wastewater disposal, and drilling.
  • Michael Born and Karim Nemr, Co-founders and CEO and Chief Business Officer respectively at PXL Vision AG, Zurich
    Winners in the category "Emerging Entrepreneurs" because they have developed an absolutely convincing technology for the future. Michael Born and Karim Nemr met at the 3D scanning specialist Dacuda (EOY winner 2012) and decided to develop this technology further. Today, PXL Vision provides a technology platform for secure identity verification and trusted digital identities. The platform is a scalable business model that is only at the beginning of a large and global scope of application.

Stefan Rösch-Rütsche, Country Managing Partner at EY Switzerland, comments: "This year's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year election has once again shown that Switzerland has considerable potential for innovative entrepreneurs. I am also pleased to see that in Switzerland a wide variety of professional and private paths can lead to successful entrepreneurship."

Logitech founder honored for professional life's work

At the same time, Daniel Borel was also honored today as a long-standing, successful, and venerable Swiss entrepreneur personality. He was awarded this year's Master Entrepreneur Award by the jury for his professional life's work. Daniel Borel was a co-founder of Logitech in 1981 and headed the computer mice manufacturer from 1992 to 1998 as its CEO. From 1988 to 2007, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and then as a member of the Board of Directors until 2015. In 1988, Daniel Borel listed Logitech on the Swiss stock exchange SIX and in 1997 also listed it on the US Nasdaq technology exchange. Jury member Prof. Dr. Thomas Zellweger says: "Daniel Borel and his colleagues have written a Swiss success story with Logitech that is famous internationally. Today, Logitech is based in Switzerland, while its engineers and researchers work in America and the products are manufactured in Asia. There are only a few companies from Switzerland that have achieved a listing on the Nasdaq. At the same time, Borel also mastered entrepreneurial crises, for example when the Company had to lay off half of its workforce in 1994."

Award Ceremony 2020 as part of a digital premiere

Traditionally, the Entrepreneur Of The Year award ceremony takes place as part of a festive gala. Because of the current situation, EY decided early on to hold this year's award ceremony in the form of a hybrid gala. This means that today's award show was streamed live from the studio of Swiss Television in Zurich – in compliance with a strict protection system. The jury, finalists, and organizers were present on site. The invited guests, including the families and friends of the prizewinners, were able to participate and interact with each other virtually thanks to the live stream. In total, more than 1,000 viewers from 20 countries took part in this digital premiere.

Photos of today's virtual award ceremony are available today at 8:15 p.m. via this link:

Independent and knowledgeable jury

In 2020 an eleven-member jury was responsible for the evaluation of the candidates and the awarding of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards. They vetted the candidates unassisted and independently of EY. The jury consisted of Dr. Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli (Member of the Board of Directors at Swiss Life Holding AG, Vice-President of ComCom), Claude Cornaz (Chairman of the Board of Directors at Vetropack Holding AG, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012), Thomas Hanan (CEO at Webrepublic AG, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017), Dr. Paul J. Hälg (Chairman of the Board of Directors at Dätwyler Holding AG and Sika AG), Christoph and Dr. Sara Hürlimann (Founders of AG , EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010), Dr. Jan Lichtenberg (CEO at InSphero AG, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015), Didier Maus (CEO at Maus Frères SA), Simon Michel (CEO at Ypsomed AG), Jean-Marc Probst (Chairman PROBST MAVEG) and Prof. Dr. Thomas Zellweger (Director of the Center for Family Business at the University of St. Gallen HSG).

EY has been supported for many years in the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Switzerland by Credit Suisse as a program partner, as well as the sponsors AMAG, the watch manufacturer H. Moser & Cie., Die Mobiliar and SWISS.


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