With the creation of a joint business unit for Germany, Austria, and the Benelux countries the Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen is reacting to the current market environment. With this step the company intends to further extend its already strong position in the demanding Central European market. The head of the new business unit will be Marc Viardot, in addition to his function as the Director of Marketing and Products at Laufen.
‘Through the merging of the three country regions to form a jointly-managed business area Laufen is reacting to the consolidation and concentration processes which have prevailed within the market for some time‘, Laufen’s Senior Managing Director Alberto Magrans explains the new structure. Marc Viardot (40), an experienced Laufen manager, is taking over the responsibility for these Central European markets. The economics graduate came to the traditional Swiss manufacturer in 2003 and since 2010 has been responsible for product management and marketing for the whole company. He will retain his position as the Director of Marketing and Products. Over the past years the German manager has been responsible for the push in brand building and the growth of the company – including amongst other things the introduction of innovative materials such as Saphirkeramik and the collaboration with leading international designers such as Konstantin Grcic or Patricia Urquiola. Through cooperation with companies such as Kartell, Alessi, or currently with the technology company Noventa for the shower toilet Riva, Laufen has grown into a leading global bathroom manufacturer.
Laufen is proud to build on the foundations of tradition and skills passed down through generations, recognizing the true value of knowledge and history. At the same time, the company is firmly rooted in the present, consciously taking stock of the past in order to channel resources and energies into constant evolution. To this end, Laufen makes choices with an eye toward innovation, in pursuit of ever higher standards of quality and aesthetics, forging into the future with an advanced, enterprising attitude.
The first Laufen kilns started working 125 years ago when expert hands shaped the material with great skill and delicate sensitivity. Even today that material and those hands are the true reference points of the company, constants in all its ceramic manifestations, bridging the gap between past and future.
Marc Viardot, Director of Marketing & Products at Laufen,
is the Managing Director of the new Central European business
unit for Germany, Austria, and the Benelux countries.
Through increased coordination the national companies will be strengthened and continue to grow further. Marc Viardot: ‘The three Central European regions have comparable requirements and share major characteristics. Therefore we will harmonise and coordinate our business processes more strongly. I am convinced that in this way we can implement our strategies in marketing and sales faster and more directly, and we will be even closer to these important markets.’ Laufen currently employs almost 400 people in Austria, Germany and the Benelux countries, generating revenues of around 100 million euros.
In Germany, Michael Kindl will continue to manage operations. Kindl is withdrawing from his position as Manager of the Austria unit, which he held in combination with his job as Manager of the Germany unit. The management of Laufen Austria, which includes the two important production facilities in Gmunden and Wilhelmsburg, will in future be headed by Marc Viardot. Locally he will be supported by Christian Schäfer as Deputy Managing Director, a colleague who has already gained comprehensive management experience at Laufen in Switzerland and Northern Europe. The markets in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands will continue to be managed by Eric Meijer, who has held the position since 2011.
‘For us the Central European markets represent a benchmark for the global markets. Those who are successful in the various channels here will also be successful internationally,’ states Viardot.
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