With $725 million in revenues and 6,000 employees, Ringier gets
to call itself Switzerland's biggest media group with interests
in newspapers, magazines and television programs. Switzerland
largest daily and Sunday newspaper (Blick and SonntagsBlick)
are Ringier-owned. Ditto for Schweizer Illustrierte, a magazine
similar to People magazine in the USA. The company has operations
in other countries such as Germany, Czech Republic, Vietnam and
even China. Founded back in 1831 by Johnann Rudolf Ringier, it's
still owned by the Ringier family.
I find the company's six-story head office near Zurich's lakefront
and just around the corner from Zurich's opera house. You can
see from the accompanying picture there's some kind of construction
taking place. A floor by floor remodeling of this 1970's structure
has been ongoing.
Generally I've come to expect poor receptions at media companies
but it's not the case this time thanks to the charming Prisca
Wolfenberger from Ringier's Communications department.
It's hard to say how many people work here due to there being
three buildings in the immediate vicinity (including this one)
for a total of 1,200 employees. Each department sets it own policy
on smoking, parking is very tight with most of it reserved for
customers and though there're no recreational facilities showers
are available. Everyone eats in the cafeteria with executives
having a separate area, it's five minutes to the nearest freeway
and a half-hour by car to Zurich Airport. Any employee perks?
The company's logo is the Ringier name in black lettering preceded
by three small rings, one red, one yellow and one blue. The rings
look like candy Lifesavers and I assumed they had to do with
the "ring" in Ringier's name. Actually, it's the color
of the rings that have significance-yellow, blue, red and black
are the four primary colors in the printing industry.
There's a very extensive corporate art collection-it's modern
and international in scope. You notice this right away in reception/break
area with large works of art hanging from the walls. On a lobby
coffee table stand six jars of shredded newspapers-the jars are
even labeled with whose paper is in it-USA Today, De Telegraph,
London Express etc.
Chairman Michael Ringier occupies a third floor corner office.
I note the television, laptop computer and his view out the window
of Lake Zurich. Lots of art inhabitants his office. My favorite
are the words of wisdom, in French, framed in a picture frame,
translated by Wolfenberger, it says "The solution exists".
The boardroom features a table seating eight with a toy plywood
boat in the table's center. Also on the table sits a bowl of
chocolates---more specifically Swiss-made chocolates by Lindt.