Government-owned SBB, the Swiss Railway, has its headquarters
in Bern. The four-story grandiose-looking building was built
in 1876. The exterior looks impressive but the interior is definitely
looking its age. Situated on a small hill and next to the university
campus, the edifice is almost directly above Bern's central train
Roland Binz from corporate communications answers questions and
shows me around. Could be lots of whoop-de-doo going on this
year as SBB celebrate its 100th birthday. SBB, with over 28,000
employees, generated over $5.1 billion in revenue last year.
About 200 people work here. It's a five-minute walk to the city
center, smoking is optional and there's parking for bikes. Employee
perks? Well of course they get to ride the rails for free.
CEO Benedikt Weibel's second floor corner office is awash in
cactus plants. I count eight of them along with a real rosebush
(that's the first rosebush I've ever seen in an office). There's
a sign posted on Weibel's office wall in German and I'm told
it translates to " a solution exists". To my surprise,
there're no scale model trains to be seen in Weibel's office.