Under the leadership of Nicolas G. Hayek, the Swatch Group achieved worldwide renown as the crown jewel of the watchmaking industry. In the early 1980s, Mr. Hayek led the firms recovery from a severe crisis. His decisive leadership was critical to the launch of the Swatch watch in 1983 and subsequently drove the continuous development and improvement of all Swatch Group brands. His innovative strategies also served as important models for the Swiss watchmaking industry as a whole and played a key role in the revival of the industry. Since acquisition by the Swatch Group of Montres Breguet SA, Mr. Hayek has served as the firms President and Chief Executive Officer, presiding over the eminently successful relaunch of the legendary brand.
The achievements of N.G. Hayek have been widely recognized in Switzerland and beyond, resulting in a number of notable awards, including that of Doctor honoris causa, awarded by the Universities of Neuchâtel and Bologna in 1998. Dr H.C. Nicolas G. Hayek is Chairman and Delegate of the Board of Directors of The Swatch Group Ltd.
In 1998, SMH Swiss Corporation for Microelectronics and Watchmaking Industries Ltd, founded in 1983 through the merger Swiss watchmakers ASUAG and SSIH, was renamed The Swatch Group. At the time, both SSIH and ASUAG held a number of well-established Swiss watch brands. ASUAG had been founded in 1931, SSIH a year earlier through the amalgamation of Omega and Tissot. SSIHs principal objective was to market quality Swiss watches. By taking over companies that produced high-quality movements and a number of lower-end watch brands, SSIH gradually managed to establish a strong position as a Swiss watch manufacturer. ASUAGs mandate was to maintain, improve and develop the Swiss watch industry. ASUAG also expanded gradually through the purchase of companies that made movement-blanks and a number of finished watch manufacturers that were subsequently brought together under the subsidiary GWC General Watch Co. Ltd. © 2006 Swatch