Rolex movements maker gets a new CEO

Manufacture des Montres Rolex SA, manufacturer of the movements for internationally known Swiss-made luxury Rolex watches, is getting a new chief executive. On Feb.1, Friedrich Sauerländer, 59, will replace Franziska Borer-Winzenried, 39, as the company’s general director, according to the Bieler Tagblatt, of Biel, Switzerland. The 124-year-old manufacturing company (which became the Rolex movement manufacturer in 1915) is located in Biel (also known as Bienne).

The change doesn’t affect Montres Rolex S.A. in Geneva, Switzerland, which is the assembler and worldwide marketer and distributor of Rolex watches. The Geneva and Biel companies have separate ownerships.

Borer, who remains on the Biel company’s board of directors, took over as CEO when the head of the company, her father, Dr. Harry Borer, 73, retired a year ago. Her brother Daniel Borer became chairman at that time. According to the Bieler Tagblatt, it was understood that Borer-Winzenried would remain general director only until a permanent executive from outside the company was selected.

The new CEO Friedrich Sauerländer was chosen by the board of directors in December. Sauerländer previously was with the international Swiss trading company André & Cie, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Manufacture des Montres Rolex S.A. recently built a new $36 million plant in Biel. It also has workshops in Le Locle, Switzerland. The Biel watchmaker employs about 1,500 people.