René has been with Bühler since 1968, when he started as an engineer apprentice, followed by establishing flour milling plants as a Service and Installation Engineer in South Africa. After that, he continued to work in Europe and South Africa, developing local manufacturing plants.
When it came time for Bühler to decentralize out of Switzerland, René’s perseverance and international experience paid off: In 1992, he was named President for the SouthAfrican region. Five years later, René became President of Processed Foods, and gained responsibility of the chocolate, pasta, extrusion, and co ee segments worldwide. He continued to rise as the President of International Sales and Service Organization, and now serves as President/CEO of the North American region. Forty-nine years after he started, he continues to push his employees to think big and go after the career they want—just like he did.
How is Bühler reshaping the industry when it comes to technology?
Because we are investing in the future, we have to understand what the future will bring to us. This means understanding the needs and challenges of our customers, plus the challenges and needs of our customers’ customers. The Plant and equipment developed by Bühler is in operation at customers’ sites worldwide—in the food industry, the chemical industry, the automotive industry, and others. Our decisions have a ripple effect that impact production worldwide, so we have to be on the forefront of technology.
What has made you proud to work for Bühler for so long?
What makes me proud is that we are the best! We are a leader in processing grains, rice, cocoa, coffee, and more—we want every person to have access to healthy food. Because of that, we need to be a trusted company, and constantly innovate, particularly when it comes to sustainability and healthy and safe solutions. It's very important that whatever we design is respectful of nature. So, we need to be mindful of water consumption, energy consumption, food security and safety, and things like that. We are the leading solution provider for efficient and clean mobility.
What do you wish that others knew about Bühler?
First, realize that learning is not complete when you graduate. Today, more so than in the past, there is the opportunity to continue to develop, through education, learning company culture, and exploring different areas of business. And, you need to adapt to future needs. Just because you studied engineering, you don’t have to be an engineer: We need people who are able to get out of the box and develop themselves into generalists while still leveraging the skills they learned in school. Another thing that’s important when working at Bühler is understanding different cultures. Today, young people can go anywhere. But vacation and working in an international setting are different: through work, you will understand the culture better and you will grow by doing so. We are in 140 countries and are looking for people who are eager for that international experience, and want to learn about different cultures.
For more than 150 years, Bühler has been the global specialist and technology partner in the supply of plants and services for processing grain and food as well as for manufacturing advanced materials. Bühler holds leading market positions as a provider of flour production and feed manufacturing installations, pasta and chocolate lines, and aluminum die casting systems.
Our employees: Worldwide, Bühler makes continuous and substantial efforts to develop and strengthen its local workforce base. Outstanding commitment and exceptional performance of employees are rewarded accordingly. Unified leadership principles and strengthening of the corporate culture are top priorities.
Ways in: The Bühler Apprenticeship Academy is a formalized career training program that offers a combination of structured on-the-job training and related technical instruction to train the apprentices in an occupation that demands a high level of skill.
What makes us unique: Every day, billions of people use products produced by Bühler technologies to satisfy their basic needs for food, mobility, and communication. With our industrial process technologies and solutions, we make a significant contribution to feeding the world’s population while focusing on food safety and sustainability.