President :: Swissmem - Switzerland's Work Place and Think Tank


Hans Hess, President of Swissmem


After training as a materials engineer at ETH Zurich, Hans Hess began his career as a development engineer at Sulzer AG in 1981. He assumed his first management position when he transferred to Huber+Suhner AG in Pfäffikon in 1983. Having gained an MBA at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, he joined what was then Wild Heerbrugg as Senior Vice President and Head of a Business Unit in 1989. He was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Leica Group in 1993, and from 1996 to 2005 was CEO of the independent, Heerbrugg-based Leica Geosystems AG, which he successfully listed at the Swiss stock exchange SIX in 2000.


At the end of 2005, Hans Hess resigned from his duties at Leica Geosystems after the company was taken over by Hexagon and founded Hanesco AG in Pfäffikon.



Hans Hess is currently the chairman of the privately-owned company Reichle & De-Massari Holding AG based in Wetzikon and a member of the Board of Directors of the listed company dormakaba Holding Ltd based in Rümlang.



Hans Hess has been closely associated with Swissmem for over 11 years, and was elected to the association’s Management Committee in 1999 and its Executive Committee in 2004. He became Vice-President in 2007 and has been President since November 2010. From 2007 to 2010 he was Swissmem's representative on the Executive Committee of the Swiss Employers’ Association. Hans Hess has been a member of the Executive Board of economiesuisse (Swiss Business Federation) since 2009 and its Vice-President since 2011.