Sabrina Brossard: A New Generation of Industry Leadership
Many connector companies get their start as family businesses. It’s more unusual for a company to remain in the hands of the founding family after decades of business. Meet Sabrina Brossard, the third generation of the Fischer founding family to lead the group.
In June 2023, Sabrina Brossard became president of the board of directors of Conextivity Group, which is comprised of Fischer Connectors and Wearin’. She succeeded her father, Peter Fischer, who held the position since 1999. Brossard, along with her husband, Jonathan Brossard, CEO since 2016, represents the third generation of the Fischer founding family to lead the family group as the company celebrates its 70th anniversary.
We asked Brossard some questions to learn more about her and her vision for the company and the industry.
What drew you to the connector industry?
Since I was a little girl, I’ve been immersed in this world. The company was for me a normality, part of our daily life. I always saw my grandfather going to the “factory” even on Sundays. I used to go on Wednesdays with my father to “help” ship those famous connectors.
Tell us about your education and experience.
My parents always gave me a choice in my career path. I’ve always been very creative by nature, an “artist at heart” as we say. I began my studies in art history, before focusing on fashion design at the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD). This period enabled me to further develop my creative spirit and, above all, I acquired a strong knowledge of fashion, object, textile, and ergonomic design. After this highly conceptual period, I returned to a more pragmatic field, focused on concrete applications and future prospects: marketing, with training in luxury marketing.
Although the connector field may seem less glamourous than the fashion world or the B2C sectors, I immediately found it interesting and challenging to give a real brand identity to our products (connectors). I’ve always found these objects to be beautiful (like jewels), as well as technological and of real value in so many different fields, from life-saving medical applications to aerospace. The type of connectivity we provide to our customers is robust and innovative, used in a huge variety of fields, and is of vital importance in the functioning of demanding operating environments. The critical importance of connectivity in today’s hyper-connected world is precisely what I find extremely interesting and meaningful in our industry: If a single connector malfunctions, the whole device fails, and the entire electronic ecosystem in which this device is integrated collapses.
In what capacity did you work at Fischer Connectors/Conextivity prior to becoming president?
I joined Fischer Connectors in 2013, first in the marketing department in various roles, but above all as brand strategy and culture ambassador. I joined the board of directors in 2014 (always combining the two functions of field operative and administrator). In 2019, I founded Wearin’ with my husband, Jonathan Brossard, creating the brand, identity, value proposition, and the Wearin’ team.
You represent a new generation at Conextivity and in the connector industry. What challenges and opportunities do you plan to address?
Our family’s third generation has a clear and ambitious vision for the next 10 years. The goal is to meet the challenge posed by the rise of ubiquitous connected devices and sensors. These generate massive and exponential amounts of data and information to support decision making, especially in mission-critical applications as well as in the Internet of Things (IoT). The first technology challenge is to integrate end-to-end connectivity that establishes the physical connection between sensors and communication devices, making them interoperable in increasingly demanding environments. In addition, there is the challenge of optimizing and harmonizing power and data flows at increasingly high performance and speed, and transmitting these data to the cloud infrastructures that enable them to be processed.
How do you see your current role?
Ensuring the generational continuity of our company means keeping in touch with our customers’ realities on the ground, just as my father did. It is very important for me to keep my activities in both executive operations as marketing leader at Wearin’ and strategic management and administration as president of the Conextivity Group’s board of directors.
As a reminder, the Conextivity Group is enjoying steady double-digit annual growth, has doubled its order intake in seven years and its R&D staff in five. The Group employs nearly 700 people worldwide, in one Group R&D center located in Switzerland and supported by regional hubs, and six manufacturing sites, including a new plant in Portugal that opened in October 2023. In recent years, Fischer Connectors has expanded its scope of activity to include electronic solutions to its historical portfolio of connectors and cable assemblies, and last year we launched a soldier hub that has been very well received. Wearin’ is currently implementing its IoT solution to enhance the safety and efficiency of professionals in the field with leading international partners.
My husband and I share a very strong vision, with ambitious projects and strong values. However, we are always mindful of the heritage that has been given to us and which inspires us both day-to-day and for the future. I owe this respect and great collaboration – i.e., proximity, accessibility, simple/direct way to communicate – to my father, who has always instilled these two values in the board of directors and the management team, with his characteristic simplicity and naturalness.
Visit the Preferred Supplier page for Fischer Connectors to learn more about the company and its products.
Like this article? Check out our other Mil/Aero Market articles, and our 2023 Article Archives.
- In Conversation: The State of the Connector Industry - February 27, 2024
- Sabrina Brossard: A New Generation of Industry Leadership - January 23, 2024
- Connector Industry Forecast for 2024 - January 23, 2024