Curriculum vitae Heinrich Villiger

Heinrich Villiger was born on May 30, 1930, in Menziken, in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland. He grew up in rural Wynental, the center of the Swiss cigar industry. In 1950, as an ambitious student, he completed his commercial schooling. Then, at the early age of 20, he joined the family business Villiger, which his grandfather had founded in 1888. Although Heinrich Villiger could not undertake a course of study as desired, he began his astonishing career, which was to shape the Swiss and international cigar industry significantly.

1950

Autumn of 1950, Heinrich Villiger joins the family-owned company. He spends the following year and a half in the USA, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic and completes his raw tobacco training.

1952

Upon returning to Europe in 1952, he continues his raw tobacco training at the tobacco market in Holland. After that, he visits Brazil and Turkey. Moreover, he undergoes training in cigar and cigarette manufacture.

1954

In 1954, Heinrich Villiger becomes a partner in the Villiger companies in Switzerland and Germany, as well as a member of the Management Board of Villiger Söhne AG (Switzerland) and the Management of Villiger Söhne GmbH (Germany).

1958

In 1958, he marries Martina Burger and moves to the German-Swiss border. He takes over the management of Villiger Söhne GmbH on site at the head office in Waldshut-Tiengen.

1966

Following the death of his father Max Villiger, in 1966, Heinrich’s brother Kaspar Villiger joins the company. He takes over the management of the Swiss parent company. From now on, the two brothers each hold 50% of the shares in the entire company.

1989

In February 1989, Kaspar Villiger gets elected to the Swiss Federal Council. After that, Heinrich Villiger takes over his brother’s 50% of shares in all operating companies.

Activities/Roles

  • Heinrich Villiger is Chairman of the Management Board of Villiger Söhne Holding AG and Villiger Söhne AG in Pfeffikon in the canton of Lucerne, Switzerland (head office of the family company).
  • After transferring operational management to three Directors and Managing Directors, he is responsible for the strategic management/orientation of the group based at Villiger Söhne GmbH in Waldshut-Tiengen.
  • Heinrich Villiger is the "President Commissioner" of the PT Villiger Tobacco Indonesia.
  • He is Vice Chairman of the Management Board of INTERTABAK AG in Pratteln (Baselland), the official importer of ‘Habanos’ for Switzerland.
  • Moreover, he is the Managing Director of 5TH AVENUE PRODUCTS TRADING-GmbH in Waldshut-Tiengen, the official importer of ‘Habanos’ for Germany, Austria and Poland.
  • Heinrich Villiger is the sole proprietor of the Villiger Söhne Holding AG.

Volunteer work

1965 to 2001

He is a Board Member of the Federal Association of the Cigar Industry (Bonn-Bad Godesberg), the final years of which as the Chairman.

1998 to 2000

Heinrich Villiger is the Chairman of the European Cigar Manufacturers Association (ECMA), representing over 90% of European cigar production.

Military rank

He completes the compulsory military service in Switzerland with the signal corps and the mandatory civil defense service.

Children

Heinrich Villiger has three adult daughters (medical doctor; nurse; graduate economist, University of St. Gallen) and one adult son (farmer), along with nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Hobbies

His hobbies include hunting, cycling, motorcycles, and gardening.

Other

He is the CEO of the Cigar Coalition Europe (CCE) in Berlin for a while.
He is also a co-founder of the Rotary Club in Waldshut-Säckingen.

Awards

2020
Hugo Chairman (USA)
1998
Habanos Man of the Year