Succession planning for Nagra’s Chief Executive Officer Thomas Ernst
Thomas Ernst, who has a doctorate in chemical engineering, has been Nagra’s CEO since 2007 and successfully guided Nagra through Stages 1 and 2 of the Sectoral Plan for Deep Geological Repositories.
Just over two years from now, Nagra will be able to announce the siting region for which it will prepare a general licence application. This will then be submitted around two years later. “It is clear to me that this announcement and the submission of the general licence application should come from the same team. A change in the top management between these important milestones would not be wise”, says 63-year-old Thomas Ernst. It is important to him that his successor is already in office when the siting proposal is announced: “My successor has to present the proposal convincingly and lead the preparation of the general licence application.”
Discussions have also included whether Ernst would wish to continue working beyond the retirement age of 65: “I have thought this over carefully and have come to the conclusion that I would rather hand over the reins to a younger pair of hands shortly before my regular retirement date than considerably after.” He will continue to commit himself to finding a convincing waste management solution until his last day in office. “The geological investigations are progressing very well, and the site selection for this project of national significance is now in its final stage. I will leave behind an organisation that is on track.”
Nagra’s Board of Directors, chaired by Corina Eichenberger, has set up a selection committee in charge of finding a suitable successor for Ernst, and the search is underway. Ernst plans on remaining in office until autumn 2021.