Jens Breu has been CEO of the listed SFS Group, which employs around 10,000 people, since the start of 2016. SFS precision moulded parts and mechanical fastening systems perform functions critical to the success of our customers’ products. The Group’s key markets are the automotive, electronics, construction and medical industries. Jens Breu has worked for SFS Group since 1995. He has performed various roles including being a production manager in the USA for eight years. In 2012, he was promoted to Head of the Industrial Division and in 2014 became Chief Operating Officer. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in St. Gallen and an MBA from Cleveland State University in the USA. Jens Breu embodies true dynamism and staying power in a career which has seen him start out as a project manager and rise to become CEO at the same company within 21 years.
SFS Group specialized in the production of precision components, fastening systems, assemblies and logistics solutions, with more than 100 locations in 25 countries. CEO Jens Breu discusses leading the company during the pandemic and their international business practices with moderator Urs Gredig. While SFS Group is heavily involved with industries that were severely impacted by the pandemic, the company was able to see opportunities in the crisis and anticipate cycles, permitting for capitalization in the recovering market. Expansion into China coincided with the US-China trade war, begging the question of whether or not to relocate to other Asian countries, however the excellent Chinese infrastructure and expertise proved to invaluable to consider moving. A substantial component of SFS Group’s culture is the independent functioning of locations. After establishing a presence abroad, they are largely left to make their own decisions without interference, with only a few yearly meetings in person with leadership. Jens Breu also advocates for the apprenticeship system he himself began in, touting the head start it gives young people in terms of practical and interpersonal experience.