Interview with Elbit Systems Switzerland new CEO

In a short interview, the new CEO of Elbit Systems Switzerland, shares insights about who he is, his relation to Elbit, and his objectives for the next few years.


Mr. Cantoni. What was your first point of contact with Elbit? What does Elbit stand for in your view?

In the defense and security technology market, companies are often competitors one day, partners the next, and perhaps customers the day after that. So, in my more than 25 years in various companies and roles in this market, I have had the privilege of exchanging ideas with Elbit many times.

For me, Elbit stands for an extraordinarily broad and profound innovative power for the benefit of those who, at the risk of their lives, rely on our technologies in many countries around the world.


What motivated you to take up the position as the new CEO of Elbit Systems Switzerland AG?

I always felt the responsibility to serve our beautiful country and its people by contributing to their security. Even though I have “militarily retired” after 31 years of service, most recently as a general staff officer, this calling is still strongly anchored in me, regardless of the current situation.

In recent years, Elbit Systems has become a relevant player in the Swiss defense and security technology market and is supporting several top projects of the Armed Forces. These projects are very demanding in their implementation, and I can usefully contribute my experience, network, and skills here at Elbit Systems Switzerland AG. In addition, we as a company want to successfully expand our local value creation in Switzerland.


What skills do you bring to the table that Elbit needs in Switzerland?

I have had the great privilege to learn and lead in many different functions during my professional career: Development, Marketing, Sales, Project Management, Communications, IT, Finance and Human Resources. Of course, you can also acquire this through appropriate training, but I wouldn’t want to miss the experience with the daily operational decisions, processes, and systems in the various divisions.

For a generalist like me, it is crucial to achieve goals together with the specialists. This is only possible with the appropriate communication and leadership skills. In my case, strong intercultural skills for successful collaboration with customers, cultures, partner companies, etc. also come into play.

My long-standing association with this market has resulted in an extensive network to which I am happy to contribute actively as a board member of the Swiss Society of Defence Technology and as a member of the Special Forces Cadre Association.


What do you tackle first? Where are your priorities in the first few weeks?

The first thing is to get to know the team in Switzerland, to study the Elbit Systems portfolio on site and in action, and to exchange ideas with key leaders and contacts in Israel.

In addition, I want to reach a shared understanding with all customers and partner companies as soon as possible on how to work together on current and future projects.

In parallel, we will refine the governance of Elbit Systems Switzerland AG by the end of the year and develop a strategy with the team, the Board of Directors, and the executives of the five divisions in the parent company that focuses on sustainable local value creation based on the entire foundation of our innovations.


What development would you like to see for Elbit Systems Switzerland in the next few years?

Our priority is the satisfaction of our customers. Only those who successfully complete their projects on time, in quality and at a competitive price can win further projects and grow in our environment.

I would like to see an Elbit Systems Switzerland AG with passionate talents who, in trusting and respectful cooperation with our customers and partners, make a significant contribution to the security of our country and its inhabitants.


Do you have any personal goals that you would like to achieve in the next few years as CEO of Elbit Systems Switzerland?

I am very pleased to be part of the management team, to implement the strategic goals of Elbit Systems in Switzerland and to expand the country unit steadily and sustainably. The growth of a company, the number of employees and the personalities of these employees must take place simultaneously.