Christoph Franz has been a member of Roche Board of Directors since 2011 and Chairman since 2014. An industrial engineer, Franz forged a career as CEO of the airlines Swiss and Lufthansa. He is an unconventional thinker who is not afraid to ask questions that (as he himself says) could turn out to be stupid: “I want to break old patterns of thinking that prevent people from exploring new avenues.”

Our Chairman in brief

Nationality German and Swiss
Year of birth 1960
Education Graduate in Industrial Engineering (Dipl. Wirtsch.-Ing.), Doctorate in Economics and Social Sciences (Dr. rer. pol.)
Family status Married, five children
Leisure time Being a family man; travelling, swimming, hiking, skiing, the arts (opera)
Read our Chairman's full CV

Chairman soundbites on selected topics

COVID-19: Unprecedented collaboration

Christoph Franz is highlighting the value of the unprecedented partnerships with competitors and regulators as well as the importance of diversity and mutual trust in times of crisis in a talk with Prof. Didier Cossin, IMD.

Media conference in Penzberg

Our Chairman thanks all employees for fighting the pandemic, but also for taking care of patients across the world who continue to suffer from multiple other diseases.

“Discovering new worlds, new people is close to my heart”

Our Chairman talks about curiosity, courage, leadership – and what he likes about Roche.


Access to healthcare

This is a top priority for Christoph Franz.


Christoph Franz is convinced: “We have to incorporate long-term thinking into all parts of our business.”

Questions and answers

We asked Christoph Franz what he thinks about the following topics:

Priorities in life

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an opportunity for many of us to rethink our priorities in life. Reiterating that if our family members, friends and colleagues are healthy – it is just priceless. My deepest sympathy goes to those who have lost a loved one.”

Importance of partnerships

“We're in this together. Roche, as one of the few companies at the forefront of the response, has entered into several collaborations to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. And we’re working closely with governments, healthcare authorities and the public health communities to ensure the availability of our medicines and diagnostics.”

Your values

“The values that my wife and I are passing on to our five children can be summed up with the phrase ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ This includes respect, fairness and a sense of shared responsibility for society.”

Owner family

“It is a privilege for us that we can still rely on the founding families as loyal majority shareholders who want a healthy company to pass on to the next generation. This commitment allows the long-term mindset that is key for an innovative business such as ours and has become a cornerstone of our culture.”

Role models

“I am a firm believer in the concept of role models as a leadership tool. Employees pay close attention to their managers’ behaviour. They have a feel for whether or not the managers practise what they preach.”

Access to healthcare

“Even the most ground-breaking innovation is useless if it never reaches the patients. Our aim at Roche is for every person who needs our diagnostics and medicines to be able to access them, no matter where they live.”