R&M names Thomas A. Ernst chairman of the board

Nov. 3, 2022
Ernst replaces the retiring Hans Hess and will become the only the third board chairman in the company’s history. R&M was founded in 1964.

Copper- and fiber-based connectivity product developer Reichle & De-Massari AG (R&M) has named Thomas A. Ernst as its new chairman of the board of directors. Ernst replaces the retiring Hans Hess and will become the only the third board chairman in the company’s history. R&M was founded in 1964.

Ernst comes to R&M from engineering company Gruner AG, where he was chairman of the board of directors as well. Under his leadership Gruner grew from 300 to 1,000 employees since 2001. From 2002, Ernst also was CEO of ABB Installationen AG, from which the ETAVIS Group was formed, until its integration into VINCI Energies Schweiz AG in 2007; and then VINCI Energies Switzerland and Italy until 2019.

“R&M is changing significantly from a component manufacturer to a global provider of complete infrastructure solutions for data centers, smart buildings, FTTx, and 5G networks. This is an important step. I look forward to tackling and implementing future strategic tasks together with the board of directors and the executive board,” Ernst commented.

The departing Hess served as board chairman for 15 years. His tenure saw R&M expand from a regional to a global player. Under his watch, the number of international production plants increased from 2 to 14 and the number of employees grew from 600 to 1,800.

“Hans Hess is greatly appreciated,” said R&M owners Martin and Peter Reichle. “He accompanied our family business for many years as our father’s successor. We owe the successful generational change to his knowledge, experience of industry, and strategic foresight. He was instrumental in shaping the R&M Group’s clear orientation toward sustainable and global growth. R&M owes a lot to his management experience and his knowledge of the international technology markets.”

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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