Management Board

The Management Board is responsible for the business and affairs of the company and the preparation, implementation, and monitoring of Sonovaʼs strategy, the management of the membersʼ respective Group functions, and the preparation, implementation, and delivery of the annual plan and budget. The Management Board also prepares for and executes decisions made by the Board of Directors. In accordance with the Organizational Regulations of Sonova Holding AG (available here), the Management Board is chaired by the CEO and comprises at least the CFO, plus such additional members as appropriately reflect the companyʼs structure and activities. The members of the Management Board are proposed by the CEO and are appointed by the Board of Directors based on the recommendation of the Nomination and Compensation Committee (NCC).

The yearly evaluation of the CEO is based on the input of each member of the Board of Directors addressed to the Chair. The consolidated input is reviewed first by the NCC and subsequently finalized by the entire Board of Directors. Finally, the results are reviewed and discussed between the Chair and the CEO.

Composition of the Management Board

As of March 31, 2023, the composition of the Management Board is as follows:

Arnd Kaldowski

(born 1967, German citizen) joined the Sonova Group in October 2017 as Chief Operating Officer and became CEO as of April 1, 2018.

He joined Sonova from Danaher Corporation, where he served in various leadership capacities since 2008, most recently as Group Executive of the Diagnostics Platform and President Beckman Coulter Diagnostics. Arnd Kaldowski led significant sales growth, innovation and productivity initiatives. He also brings significant experience and a successful track record in M&A, commercial excellence, and new product introduction, which he gained in the course of his career at Danaher and as SVP Point-of-Care Solutions at Siemens Medical, following his previous assignments as Investment Director of Atila Ventures and as a Manager with the Boston Consulting Group.

Arnd Kaldowski holds a Master of Science in Physics from the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

Birgit Conix

(born in 1965, Belgian citizen) joined the Sonova Group in May 2021 and assumed the CFO position mid-June of the same year

She was previously Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Board of TUI AG, a global leader in tourism, from 2018 to 2021. Before joining TUI AG, she was Chief Financial Officer of the Belgian media, cable and telecommunications group Telenet Group NV. Prior to that, she held various top-level positions in finance, strategy and business operations in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices business units at Johnson & Johnson, and in finance at Heineken, Tenneco and Reed Elsevier.

Birgit Conix holds an MBA from University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, USA and a Master of Science in Business Economics from the University of Tilburg, Netherlands.

Outside mandates:

  • Supervisory Board member at ASML Holding N.V.

Ludger Althoff

(born 1964, German citizen) joined the Sonova Group in January 2019 as Vice President (VP) Operations and became Group Vice President Operations as of April 1, 2019.

Before joining Sonova, he was Senior VP Quality and Operations at ABB Power Grids where he held functional responsibility for all factories and engineering centers of the business. Before that, he held various key operation leadership positions within the Danaher Corporation, including the role of VP Global Operations of Danaherʼs Dental Group and the role of VP Global Operations of Leica Microsystems. Ludger Althoff brings with him over 25 years of international management experience in operations, global sourcing and logistics as well as continuous improvement.

Ludger Althoff completed his education at the City of Mönchengladbach Technical School and was certified Quality Manager (EOQ) by the European Organization for Quality.

Claudio Bartesaghi

(born in 1973, Swiss citizen) was appointed Group Vice President Corporate Human Resources Management (HRM) & Communications of Sonova in October 2017.

He gained international experience in his long-time career at Sonova, not least in his positions as Head of HRM of Sonova North America, based in the US, and as Head of HRM Sonova APAC, based in Singapore. Before joining Sonova in 2010, Claudio Bartesaghi was Deputy Head of HRM at Jelmoli Holding AG in Zürich.

Claudio Bartesaghi holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and a Master of Advanced Studies in HRM from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).

As publicly announced on March 2, 2023, Claudio Bartesaghi will leave the company in mid-May of this year and, after an immersion and transition period, he will be succeeded by Katya Kruglova.

Victoria Carr-Brendel

(born 1964, US citizen) was appointed Group Vice President Cochlear Implants and President of Advanced Bionics in April 1, 2019.

She is an accomplished medical device executive with vast experience across several therapeutic areas, in both 510K and PMA devices. She started her career as a scientist in research and development, and took on increasingly larger business and management roles throughout her career. Before joining Sonova, she worked for JenaValve Technology Inc., a global and innovative transcatheter heart valve company, where she became CEO in mid-2015. Prior to that, she worked at Boston Scientific in roles spanning R&D, project management, franchise general manager/general manager for the neurovascular, electrophysiology, and peripheral interventions divisions, and the Bayer acquisition.

Victoria Carr-Brendel holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from University of Illinois at Chicago.

Outside mandates:

  • Board member at MDMA (Medical Device Manufacturers Association)
  • Independent Board member of Vicarious Surgical, Inc.

Christophe Fond

(born 1966, French citizen) joined the Sonova Group in February 2017 as Group Vice President Retail.

Before joining Sonova, he held the role of President Latin America and was a member of the Executive Board at GrandVision, a global leader in optical retailing. In the course of his career, he gained extensive experience in global retail management, leading transformational growth of large-scale retail enterprises, including acquisitions, mergers, and integrations.

Prior to joining GrandVision he held various roles of international responsibility at Pearle, Bata, and FNAC.

Christophe Fond received a Master of Business Administration from IMD-Switzerland and graduated from the Superior School of Military Engineering (ESAG) in France.

Martin Grieder

(born 1965, Swiss and British citizen) has been Group Vice President Phonak since August 2014. Between September 2016 and March 2022 he was Group Vice President Hearing Instruments Marketing. In April 2022 he was appointed Groupe Vice President Consumer Hearing.

He joined Sonova from Nestlé, where he was Vice President and Global Head of Nestlé BabyNes. Martin Grieder joined Nestlé in 1992 and brings over 20 years of experience in senior management roles within the company. His diversified cross-functional work experience in 18 countries ranges from leading the global Nespresso professional division to managing Nestlé Nespresso North America. Further senior roles at Nestlé included Vice President, Head of Finance for the Americas and Head Nestlé Group Audit as well as R&D Head for Food & Beverage systems solutions for the Nestlé Group.

Martin Grieder received a Master of Business Administration degree from IMD-Switzerland and a Bachelorʼs degree in business and economics from the University of Applied Science and Arts (FHNW) in Basel.

Robert Woolley

(born in 1976, US citizen) joined the Sonova Group in January 2022 and was appointed GVP Hearing Instruments in April 2022.

He previously held the position of Executive Vice President for North America and then became Executive Vice President Western Europe, both as member of the Management Board at Straumann Group. He has longstanding experience in leadership roles in the medical device and healthcare sector, both in the USA and Switzerland, among others at Stryker, Trivascular and Medtronic. Robert has a broad range of functional experiences including roles with increasing responsibility in general management, sales and marketing, product portfolio management and business development.

Robert Woolley is an engineer by training with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Other activities and vested interests

Except as disclosed in the biographies of the members of the Management Board, no member of the Management Board holds any position in a governing or supervisory body of any important private or public sector organization, institution, or foundation; none holds any permanent management or consulting position with an important interest group, or any public or political office.

Mandates outside Sonova Holding AG

According to Art. 30 of the Articles of Association, no member of the Management Board may hold more than one additional mandate in a listed company and in total no more than five additional mandates (all such mandates are subject to approval by the Board of Directors). Just as stipulated for the Board of Directors, some mandates are not subject to these limitations. The Articles of Association are available here.

Management contracts

The Board of Directors and the Management Board conduct business directly and have not delegated any management tasks to companies outside the Group.

Compensation, shareholdings and loans

Details of Board and Management compensation are contained in the Compensation Report. In accordance with the Articles of Association, no loans were granted to the members of the Board of Directors or the members of the Management Board.