Mr. Liske, you’ve been CEO of the CHIRON Group for a few
weeks now. Why did you decide to come here? And how was the welcome?
Since I started in my role on
March 1, I’ve had so many meetings and discussions with colleagues from all
areas and I’ve been made to feel really welcome. My career has really been
defined by two things. On the one hand, I have always been able to build on
solid experience, but I’ve also sought out new challenges with each new
position I’ve accepted. And that applies for my jump to the CHIRON Group, too.
I have many years of experience in the global capital goods sector. But, I have
a very demanding task ahead of me, taking on total responsibility as CEO, and
in a new industry too. I’m really looking forward to incorporating my
experience so far and learning lots about the specific markets, customers,
technologies and products. Of course, the CHIRON Group is well known and, from
my previous positions, I knew of the Group as one of the
leading providers of machining centers and turnkey manufacturing solutions.
How exactly does your new position differ from your
previous ones; are there any different priorities?
Previously, I was responsible for a business area,
and now for an entire company Group – it’s a big learning curve. Surprisingly,
I am actually rather familiar with many of the current challenges and questions
the CHIRON Group is facing. There are certain topics that I was also dealing
with in my previous role. For example, the specific situation in which the
CHIRON Group finds itself now, post-merger, has given rise to new and different
You haven’t just worked in Switzerland, but other
countries too. What did you take away from these overseas stays?
Interesting question. Well,
we went to China and came back with a son. But joking aside, the more time I
spend immersed in different cultures, looking for differences, the more I
realized one thing. The prerequisites for successful and fruitful (business)
relationships are tolerance and mutual respect, wherever in the world you may
be. We sell machines but »it’s a people business.«
How do you think the CHIRON Group is positioned currently?
Which weak points could be tackled to keep us moving in a successful direction?
I am really impressed with
the expert knowledge, as well as the commitment and loyalty of all the
colleagues in the company. I find the exceptional focus on continued education
and training particularly positive. It creates a strong sense of identity and
defines the company culture.
The necessary restructuring
program still needs to be completed in certain areas in my opinion. We need to
establish and stabilize new processes. We also want to be able to really profit
from the imminent market recovery with our reworked product portfolio and
manage the ramp-up. A further point to work on in the near future is the
springboards for the future further development of the CHIRON Group.
Do you have a motto, a guiding principle, which sums up
I like to
quote Winston Churchill, »The art is in getting up
again, one more time than we are knocked down.«
You are clearly very busy as a Chief Executive Officer. How do you ensure a healthy work-life-balance? What do you do in your
spare time to relax and recharge?
Fundamentally, I really like
my work and enjoy working. I never really understood the term work-life-balance.
Work is an important part of my life and I don’t need to balance it out with
anything else. But if you’d like to know what my priorities are beyond the
office walls? My family is my first, second, and every other priority.
Carsten Liske studied Industrial Management and Manufacturing
– majoring in Product & Production Management as well as Textile Production
– at the ETH Zurich, graduating as a Dipl.-Ing. ETH (Swiss graduate degree). He
began his career at the ABB Group in Zurich, followed by various roles with the
OC Oerlikon Group (formerly Unaxis). In 2006, he took the position of COO,
Chief Operating Officer, at Oerlikon Esec in Cham, Switzerland. In 2009, he
moved to Rieter AG in Winterthur, the worldwide leading supplier of systems for
short-staple fiber spinning, where he went on to hold several management
positions. Alongside his responsibility for global operations, he took on the
position of General Manager in China from 2011 to 2013. In 2015, he was
appointed After Sales Division Manager within the Group Management team at
Rieter Holding AG. Most recently, he was responsible for the largest division -
Machines & Systems. Carsten Liske is 47 years old. He lives in Steckborn at
the Lake Constance with his wife, his son of 8 and daughter of 12.