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Six months as an autonomous company – Christian Künzli & Stefan Mathys look back.

On 10 January 2019, the MCH Group announced that Winkler Livecom had been sold on 1 January and would once again be owner managed with immediate effect. Six months on, we take a look back and interview two of the three new owners, Christian Künzli and Stefan Mathys, who both serve on the management board of Winkler Livecom.

Stefan, what was behind your bold decision to become the owner of Winkler Livecom?

An important part of the decision was that we have every confidence in Winkler Livecom and the future potential of both our company and the employees. In addition, Christian and I consider independence a personal challenge that we were happy to take on with our employees. So, when MCH Group approached us, it didn’t take us long to reach our decision.

Stefan mentioned that it was MCH Group who approached you with the offer. Christian, for your part, were there any criteria that simply had to be met for you to be able to take up the offer?

Naturally, a number of key points were crucial to the negotiations. For example, it was extremely important to us to be able to continue the good working relationship with MCH Group.  Another central factor was of course the viability of the business as a whole for us as the new owners. Above all of this, there was also the question of how the changes would go down with our employees as well as the customers and suppliers.

Setting out on a path such as this clearly entails significant work. What was your highest priority, Christian?

The highest priority was to garner both internal and external acceptance of the new situation. Our primary focus, therefore, was communication. We were completely in agreement that it was vital to put the time and energy into talking to our employees about the new status quo and getting them on board for the road and the challenges ahead. Our external partners on the customer and supplier side were another important area of focus. It is of course hugely important that they too believe in the new future and the vision and ideas of the new owners. We did not need to make any significant organisational changes as Stefan and I have been working at Winkler Livecom for a long time, so had already done the necessary groundwork.

Stefan, how have you found your first six months as owner?

It has all been really positive. After more than ten years at Winkler, I am finding this change an exciting challenge. My confidence in having taken the right path with Winkler has been further strengthened by the extremely positive feedback I have received so far. It is also exciting to see how this change has brought a positive dynamic to our company. I find this extremely motivating.

What exactly do you mean by ‘a positive dynamic’?

Quite simply that there’s a positive atmosphere in the company. I believe that the employees feel that they can now have more influence on decisions and are also closer to those decisions. I am sure that this helps motivate them to give their all for a successful future. Many challenges remain the same as last year, but the decision-making paths are much shorter as an autonomous company. This allows us to react quickly to change.

What is your take on this, Christian?

I can only agree with Stefan. I would add that, since the buy-out, cooperation within the management has become even closer and more harmonious, which, in my opinion, also has an impact on the entire organisation.

What are your thoughts looking to the future?

Christian: We know that the live communications market is highly competitive – there’s nothing new in this. Nevertheless, we are optimistic about the future. We have won some major projects in the last few months and look forward to showing what we can do.

Stefan: There is more great potential in Winkler Livecom that we want to unlock. I am confident that there is still a lot more that we can achieve together with our employees.

Thank you for speaking to us, Christian and Stefan.