Patrick Firmenich MBA'90J
Vice-Chairman of the Board, DSM/Firmenich
Patrick Firmenich is the Chairman of the Board of Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned Perfume and Taste Company. He has been serving in this capacity since October 2016, after first joining the Firmenich Board in 2002, upon becoming the CEO of the Company.
During his 12-year tenure as Firmenich CEO, from 2002 to 2014, Patrick firmly advanced the Group’s leadership in organic growth, while conducting key M&A transactions and transforming the organization to deliver an 85% net income increase over this period.
Driving world-class innovation and creativity, Patrick reinforced Firmenich’s leadership in Perfumery & Ingredients, while implementing a long-term vision for its Flavors Business Unit with a focus on nutrition. Sustaining Firmenich’s above-average investment in Research & Development, he oversaw the launch of game-changing technologies from the Group’s very first biodegradable and renewable molecules to its first taste modulation solution, reducing sugar from food while keeping an equal taste experience. Anchoring Firmenich’s unique legacy of responsible business throughout the organization, Patrick set an ambitious sustainability strategy for the Group to lead its industry in Health, Safety & Environmental performance.
Patrick first joined Firmenich in 1990 and spent a decade successfully leading the strategic development of the Company’s International Fine Fragrance business in New York and Paris before being appointed to the Executive Committee in 1999.
Prior to joining Firmenich, Patrick held several positions in the legal and banking sectors, including his work as an International Investment Banking Analyst for Credit Suisse First Boston, as a Business Attorney at Patry, Junet, Simon & Le Fort, and Legal Counsel at Chase Manhattan Bank.
Patrick is currently a Board member of Jacobs Holding, INSEAD and INSEAD World Foundation, as well as a member of the Advisory Council of the Swiss Board Institute. In the past, he has served on the Boards of the Foundation Privée des HUG (Artères), the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce and The Fragrance Foundation in the United States, while acting as President and member of the INSEAD Swiss National Council and member of IBFL Leadership Council.
Patrick has received numerous recognitions and awards celebrating his business acumen and unique industry experience: he was inducted into the Fragrance Foundation’s Circle of Champions in 2015, for his enduring contribution to the Fragrance Industry; he received the Gallatin Award from the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce in 2014 for fostering close business ties between Switzerland and the United States. He was also the recipient of the Avon Hall of Fame Champion Award in 2009; the Orthodox Union (USA), National Kashrut Award in 2003; and finally in 1999, the American Cancer Society Award for Longstanding Commitment to Women’s Health.
Patrick holds a law degree from the University of Geneva and a M.B.A. from INSEAD. A Swiss national, he is married with two children and is fluent in three languages.