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Roland Harste, Management Board Member & CMO – Swarovski Professional

Educated in economics (Dr. rer. pol.), and industrial engineering (Dipl.-Ing. oec. – equivalent to a M.Sc.) at European Business School (EBS) Oestrich-Winkel, INSEAD Fontainebleau, and Hamburg University of Technology with outstanding academic performance. Roland successfully completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School (HBS), being an Alumnus of the school since 2019.

Roland spent 10 years with McKinsey & Company Inc., with his last role as Associate Principal (Junior Partner), Roland was advising large multinational consumer goods and retail companies in the areas of Sales, Marketing, and Strategy.

Since 2013 Roland has been with Swarovski (a family-owned, EUR 3.5bn business) in the Professional division (SP, with 5.000 employees). Coming from a monopoly situation in crystal manufacturing, SP had lost significant turnover from 2007-2014 due to Chinese competition. Since 2014, he co-led a fundamental business transformation from a component to a solution provider of product, services, communication, and digital distribution concepts – resulting in regaining profitable growth.

Roland started as Vice President Branding and Marketing Communications with ~25 employees, was promoted to Senior Vice President Marketing in 2015 with ~75 employees, and to Management Board Member, CMO, in 2018 with ~250 employees and product, design, brand, and e-commerce responsibility. Besides this, he led restructuring of their multi-brand and category retail (incl. e-commerce) efforts as Managing Director, Swarovski Multi brand Distribution GmbH.

Roland has gained a deep understanding of value creation in premium and luxury industries (e.g., Jewellery, Fashion, Interior Design), and distinct general management expertise: Product Management and Development incl. adjacent Operations processes, Branding, B2B and B2C Communication, and Design, and E-Commerce. In these functions, he has worked hand-in-hand with Sales (being part of Sales leadership meetings) and fashion creatives to deliver emotional and aesthetic communications.