Movenpick Holding AG

I visited Movenpick six years ago but am curious to find out if they've moved from their longtime "temporary" quarters. At the time, Movenpick occupied several connecting two-story buildings and had done so for 18 years. These are buildings usually built for temporary use until the permanent structure is up. Each year Movenpick would think about constructing a new building but for one reason or another would end up going before the town of Adliswil and obtain an extension to keep the "temporary" quarters for another year. Adliswil lies about 10 miles from Zurich's city center.

I'm a big fan of Movenpick's various businesses. It's chain of hotels, mostly three and four star properties, gets the two thumbs up from me. Movenpick's premium ice cream is also winner especially my favorite flavor: tiramsu. The company operates several restaurant chains and markets its own selection of wines, jams and juices to over 30 countries. Revenues in 2001 were 600 million Euros with over 13,000 employees.

Well, I'm about a mile from downtown Adliswil and the site formerly housing the temporary structures is barren. I continue down the road about a quarter mile and find the address I'm looking for. Jeez, it's an old building pointed out to me six years ago as housing Movenpick personnel. An Ibis hotel, a budget chain run by hotel giant Accor, has replaced the low-end motel property that sat directly across the street. I recall six years ago telling my contact person that I was expecting a flagship Movenpick hotel nearby and he admitted they didn't advertise owning the small motel down the road.

Two friendly receptionists man the reception area. It's small, with seating limited to two visitors. A call is made to CEO Bruno Schoepfer's secretary. The gracious Liisa Sloeoer greets me in the lobby and says her boss never received my letter of introduction. I'm in luck though as Sloeoer agrees to answer questions.

This three-story building was built in the 1950's and was formerly part of a factory complex. It's now home to 200 employees. There's plenty of free employee parking, smoking isn't allowed in offices and Fridays are casual dress days.

Though there isn't a cafeteria, coffee is free and employees receive lunch vouchers for use in area restaurants. Meeting rooms are named after birds (albatross, falcon and so on), there's no corporate art collection, it's 30 minutes to Zurich Airport, 10 minutes to downtown Zurich and 100 meters to the nearest freeway. Employees enjoy special rates on company wines and ice cream.

CEO Schoepfer's second floor corner office contains one computer, one real plant, family pictures and, a not very exciting view of the street.