Rolf Soiron

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Person.png Rolf Soiron   LinkedInRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
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Born31 January 1945
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Alma materUniversity of Basel
Member ofRive-Reine-Conference/Guests
One of the most important business leaders in Switzerland. Former Chairman (2005–2018) of the Board of Directors of Lonza, a company closely tied to the World Economic Forum and manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines.

Rolf Karl-August Matthias Soiron is the former Chairman (2005–2018) of the Board of Directors of Lonza Group, a company closely tied to the World Economic Forum[1] and manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines. He participated in the 2011 Bilderberg Conference.

Soiron was also Chairman of the Board of Directors at the large cement and construction material company Holcim (2003–2014), which merged with Lafarge; and Nobel Biocare (2003–2010). He was also one of the most important business leaders in Switzerland.

Early life

Rolf Soiron, whose parents belonged to the German-speaking minority in Belgium, which is why he originally had Belgian citizenship, initially grew up near Basel. Shortly before his conscription age he took Swiss nationality[2]. He studied history and received his doctorate in 1973 with the dissertation The Contribution of Swiss Foreign Policy to the Problem of the Peace Organization at the End of the First World War.

He began his professional career as a teacher before joining the chemical company Sandoz in 1970. At 35, Soiron collaborated with McKinsey boss Lukas Mühlemann in an analysis which led to the elimination of 1,800 jobs. This was followed by four years as managing director of the orthopedic company Protek before Soiron returned to Sandoz and took over the management of the agricultural division in New York.

He was also a member of the Basel City Council for the Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP). From 1992 to 1993 he headed the pharmaceutical division of Sandoz, but then fell out with the Chairman of the Board of Directors Marc Moret. In 1993 he took over the management of the citric acid manufacturer Jungbunzlauer, which he held until 2001. He was a co-founder of the asset manager Bellevue Group. From 1994 to 2005 he was a part-time President of the Basel University Council.

He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the cement company Holcim (2003-2014) and the Lonza Group (2005-2018)[3]. At Holcim, Soiron made a significant contribution to it changing from a family company to a public company. In April 2014, he announced the intention to merge the two world's largest cement companies Holcim and Lafarge to LafargeHolcim. At the Annual General Meeting on April 29, 2014, he did not stand for re-election for the Board of Directors of Holcim. His successor as Chairman was Wolfgang Reitzle.

From 2003 to 2010 he also headed the board of directors of the dental implant manufacturer Nobel Biocare.

Lonza Group

From January to the end of April 2012 he was also interim CEO at Lonza, who just a few years later came to prominence as a manufacturer of billions of COVID vaccines for Moderna.

On May 1, 2020, Moderna announced a ten-year manufacturing agreement with Lonza. Per the agreement, Lonza would build out vaccine production sites for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, first in the United States and Switzerland, before expanding to Lonza’s facilities in other countries. The scale of production discussed in the agreement was to produce 1 billion doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine annually, suggesting marvelous foresight on the part of Moderna and Lonza that the COVID-19 vaccine would become an annual or semiannual affair.[4]

From 2009 to 2014 he was President of the Board of Trustees of the think tank Avenir Suisse[5]. From 2009 to 2015 he was a member of the board committee of the umbrella association of the business organization economiesuisse and was president of the selection committee that made Heinz Karrer new president. He was also asked to become a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2009 and elected to its council. He was a member until 2017[6].


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/20119 June 201112 June 2011Switzerland
Hotel Suvretta
St. Moritz
59th meeting, in Switzerland, 129 guests