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Patrick Firmenich

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Class of 2021, Switzerland

Patrick Firmenich, Chairman of the Board of Firmenich SA

Family firm Firmenich delights the senses with fragrances, tastes and ingredients.

Photographic portrait of Patrick Firmenich

Patrick Firmenich

Firmenich is the world’s largest privately owned company specializing in the development of fragrances, flavors and ingredients. Founded more than 125 years ago in a garage in Geneva, it was the brainchild of three Swiss visionaries who each brought values that remain a part of the company culture today: innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to “do good.” Patrick Firmenich, who became CEO in 2002 and Chairman of the Board in 2016, represents the fifth generation of the Firmenich family. The company now has over 10,000 employees and 85 affiliates across the world. 

To stay competitive and relevant, the company reinvests about 10% of its annual revenue in R&D, which has led to breakthrough products such as their taste modulation technologies, which can reduce up to 100% of added sugar naturally. Another pioneering product is the world’s first flavor created with artificial intelligence, for use in plant-based meat alternatives. 

As a global environmental leader, Firmenich is the first in its industry to have reached 100% renewable electricity across operations, and in 2020 it achieved a triple “A” ranking with CDP in climate change, water services and forestry, one of only two companies to achieve this distinction.