5 minutes with…

Thomas Illi, Managing Director, Lyreco Switzerland


Describe what you do in less than 20 words.
Meet people, listen to them, motivate them, give advice to them and infect them with my passion.

If you weren’t doing your present job, what would you like to be doing?
I would like to be a mountain guide.

Your greatest strength?
Taking clear decisions in changing environments.

Your favourite office product?
The Omega Swiss-quality paper clip made by Lüdi Swiss.

The biggest single issue affecting the OP industry over the next five years?
Digitisation will change the office environment more than we can imagine.    

What do you like best about the OP industry?
Every company is a potential customer – every day we talk to different people from all kinds of industries. 

Your favourite movie?
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – an incredible performance by Jack Nicholson.    

What keeps you awake at night?
Conflicts with people.  

Your childhood ambitions?
I always wanted to become a priest.

Your first car?
A Ford Fiesta… until it was crushed by a tractor!

Your ideal night out?
To dance the whole night like crazy.

What sports team do you support?
The local rowing club in my home town of Richterswil, where my son is a fanatical and successful team member.

Your favourite holiday destination?
Lofoten, Norway. I like the combination of the mountains and the sea.

What makes you angry?
Order-based management instead of target-based management.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My planning skills could be improved dramatically. 

If you had to sing at a karaoke next weekend, which song would you choose?
Everybody Needs Somebody to Love by The Blues Brothers. I love the rhythm and the dance moves.    

Do you have any annoying habits?
I’m forgetful. I sometimes ask my direct reports the same thing several times, which can be embarrassing.   

The best concert you have ever been to?
The Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra playing in Zurich – it was different to what I’m used to listening to, and I could really feel the extraordinary passion of the players.

The best book you’ve read in the past 12 months?
The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson – exciting and thrilling from the first page to the last.