Swatch Group AG founder and chairman Nicolas Hayek died unexpectedly from heart failure at his office earlier today. He was 82.
Hayek, a colorful entrepreneur and one of Switzerland’s leading businessmen, was credited with saving the Swiss watch industry.
In a statement, Swatch Group said “With deep sadness and regret we inform you that Mr. Nicolas G. Hayek, Chairman and Delegate of the Board of Directors of The Swatch Group Ltd. unexpectedly passed away today due to heart failure during work at his beloved Swatch Group. [His] greatest merit was his enormous contribution to the saving of the Swiss watch industry and the foundation and the commercial development of the Swatch Group,” the company said. “Hayek’s extraordinary vision enabled him to realize and ensure the sustainability of a strong watch-making enterprise with high Swiss added value. He is rightly recognized as a leading entrepreneur in this country.”
You can read Swatch Group’s official statement here.