Online Exclusives

CEOs To Headline Montreux 2014

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | March 10, 2014

Leaders from key suppliers and marketers will be at the podium when the global fabric and home care industry meets Oct. 6-9 in Switzerland.

What’s better than having three chief executives from the largest companies in the global detergent industry? How about four? Or five? Try six! The World Conference on Fabric and Home Care has become such an important forum for the industry, that organizers have outdone themselves this year, delivering a-half-dozen leaders from some of the most important companies on earth.
 
The chief executives scheduled to appear include:
• Kasper Rorsted, Henkel;
• Michitaka Sawada, Kao;
• Peder Holk, Novozymes;
• Kurt Bock, BASF;
• Itsuo Hama, Lion; and
• H. Fiske Johnson, SC Johnson & Son.
 
With a lineup like that, it’s no wonder why organizers expect more than 700 industry executives to attend Montreux 2014.
 
“We had two CEOs in Montreux (2010) and four CEOs in Singapore (2012),” recalled General Chairman Manfred Trautmann of WeylChem, Switzerland. “This time, we have six CEOs from various industries—all of them sure to provide thought-provoking commentary on the global fabric and home care business.”


 
According to Trautmann, the conference is designed to challenge attendees about the way they think of problems regarding water scarcity and hygiene issues in the developing world.
 
“It is the opposite of a typical meeting, in that it isn’t about the laboratory; it is about challenging the existing thinking regarding the problems we face in the world.”
 
Other industry experts who are scheduled to present will include:
 
• James C. Collins, DuPont;
• Leandro Soncini Rodrigues, Oxiteno;
• Gianni Ciserani, P&G; and
• Nitin Paranjpe, Unilever.
 
But besides well-known brands in the household and fabric care space, organizers also invited executives from game-changing companies such as Facebook, Walmart and Coca-Cola.
 
“We opened up the speaking schedule to include people from outside the industry to foster new ideas,” explained Committee Member Mike Parkington of Unilever. “In this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world we need people from outside the industry to challenge us.”
 
In addition to the conference program, attendees will be able to visit with key partners during a three-day exhibition of supplies and services available to the fabric and home care industry. Organizers expect 45 companies to exhibit. Furthermore, the event will feature an Innovations Incubator, where participating companies can present cutting-edge ideas. This novel approach to showcasing emerging companies will be an integral part of Montreux 2014, according to organizers. The Innovations Incubator is accepting applications. To be considered, the company must have an innovative product or service that could affect the future of the industry. Furthermore, the company’s 2012 sales must be $25 million or less and the company must employ fewer than 200 people.
 
 
More info: Montreux 2014, montreux.aocs.org
 

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