Severin Schwan, our CEO since 2008, brings relentless drive for innovation and passion for personalised healthcare to his role. He joined Roche as a trainee in 1993 and has stayed with the company ever since. He is fascinated with Roche because "we can create significant value for society by saving lives and improving the quality of life of millions of people and their families."

Our CEO in brief

Nationality Austrian, German, Swiss
Year of birth 1967
Education Graduate in Economics, Doctorate in Law
Family status Married, three children
Leisure time Skiing, hiking, filmmaking, spending time with family and friends, reaching for a good book or catching a movie

Read our CEO's full CV

CEO soundbites on selected topics

Even more resilient

At our first-ever global virtual town hall with senior leadership, our CEO shows optimism for the time after the pandemic.

CEO message: Discover Roche

Hear CEO Severin Schwan talk about why Roche is such a special place.

Our CEO on the digitalisation of healthcare

What does this mean for patients, and how do we attract the right talents?

Foundations for future generations

Severin Schwan explains what ‘sustainability’ means for Roche.

Questions and answers

We asked Severin Schwan what he thinks about the following topics:

What inspires you?

“We are fortunate to be able to make a meaningful difference in the fight against COVID-19. This is what really inspires me about Roche: the impact we can make on people’s lives.”

The Roche culture

“Roche has faced and overcome many challenges in its near 125 years. I believe the solidarity and community we are experiencing now will bring us closer together, and there is no doubt that we will come out of this even stronger.”

Excellence in science

“Roche uses a large number of research approaches to develop new medicines. Our new engagement in gene therapy brings hope to people with rare diseases in particular.”

How to foster innovation

“Scientific success cannot be programmed, but we can create the conditions that will allow it to happen: being open to new ideas, having the courage to take risks; our researchers need to have the freedom to work on their ideas and above all, they need a positive space in which ideas are shared and independent thinking is encouraged.”

How do you cope with stress?

“I believe the ‘everyday’ pressure only turns into stress if you feel that the world will stop turning if you’re not around. However, of course the world does keep on turning. Not overestimating your own importance helps you to do your job effectively.”

The courage to fail

“There’s no success without failure! When you’re pursuing ground-breaking innovation, setbacks go with the territory. Unless you have the courage to fail, you’ll never succeed. It is my strong belief that we should celebrate our failures just as we celebrate our successes.”

Personalised healthcare

“I am very optimistic about the future. We have an outstanding pipeline and – thanks to our combination of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics with data science – a very good opportunity to make significant advances in personalised healthcare.”

Access to healthcare

“We want to ensure that everyone has access to our diagnostic solutions and medicines. I am proud that Roche was one of the first companies to introduce differentiated pricing. Solidarity between the rich and poor countries is essential to improving access around the world.”

Tags: People