“My salary is not modest – but it is not excessive either”
Victorinox produces ten million pocket knives annually in Switzerland – with many longstanding employees. Interview with company president Carl Elsener.
Carl Elsener is the fourth generation to run the knife factory.
Photo: Samuel Shalash
At 9 a.m., the bell rings at the Victorinox plant. Most of the 900+ employees stop working for 15 minutes. Some have set up folding chairs in front of the factory to enjoy the sun and the view of the central Schwyz mountains. Every day about 45,000 pocket knives and 90,000 household and professional knives are made here in Ibach SZ.
I joined Victorinox in 1978. Right after graduation. Have you never felt the desire to work anywhere other than the family business?
No, I’ve never had that desire. I grew up with a knife factory. We lived in a house above production. We sold the workers apples and oranges for 20 cents. Before Christmas, when the company was barely able to keep up with production, we packed knives to earn pocket money.
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