Swatch Chair Picks Clooney for Energy Firm

George Clooney will become an executive board member of a new Swiss company that will develop clean energy systems for car motors and other devices, The Associated Press reports.

The new company will have different branches doing research and development in the clean production of hydrogen, solar energy and fuel cells, said Nicolas Hayek, Sr., chairman of the Swatch Group, who is setting up the firm.

“First I hesitated between Al Gore and Clooney,” Hayek said in an interview with daily Berner Zeitung on Oct. 20.

Hayek reportedly said he didn’t ask Gore because he wasn’t sure whether the former vice president would run for president and therefore might have accepted the post as a mere public relations exercise.

Clooney will sit on the board alongside Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier and others, Hayek reportedly said.

Clooney’s spokesman, Stan Rosenfield, confirmed the report in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Hayek, who chairs the executive board of Swatch Group AG, the world’s largest watchmaker, said he will also preside over the board of the new company, which will be based in Biel.

He did not say when the new company, which has yet to be named, will be launched, the AP reports.


George Clooney in an advertisement for Omega, part of the Swatch Group