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INTERVIEW - Eric Gauthier, CEO, 3A Composites

News International-French

1 Mar 2019

Eric Gauthier is the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), 3A Composites Core Materials since the November 1st, 2018. He is replacing Roman Thomassin. He reports to Schweiter Technologies Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Heinz O. Baumgartner. JEC Composites Magazine asked Eric Gauthier about his vision of the market and his objectives.

Eric Gauthier, CEO, 3A Composites
JEC Composites Magazine: What is your background within 3A and before ?
Eric Gauthier: I had been President Global Key Accounts of the 3A Composites Core Materials Division and Head of EMEA sales since 2011. Previously, I served as CFO & Global Strategy Director of Core Materials for seven years. I hold a Master of Finance from HEC Paris and an Economist degree from Higher School of management (HES-SO, Switzerland). Built on a finance background, I had more than twenty years of experience in corporate and local management functions for global corporations. Prior to joining the composite business, I assumed key positions at Rio Tinto Alcan and Nestlé.

JEC Composites Magazine: Can you tell us the scope of 3A Composites Core Materials today?
Eric Gauthier:
3A Composites Core Materials is a global organizational unit within the 3A Composites Group, a part of Schweiter Technologies, with operations in Switzerland, USA, China, Ecuador and Papua New Guinea.

3A Composites Core Materials is a global leader with the broadest portfolio of high-performing and sustainable core materials with main focus on PET foam and balsa wood. We are the pioneers in sandwich technology with more than 75 years of experience.
Since the very beginning our focus has been developing strong and solid, yet lightweight core materials, which allow manufacturing more durable, sustainable and energy-efficient end products for our customers. Our products have also the purpose: to create a stronger, lighter and greener future.

JEC Composites Magazine: Can you tell us more about this?
Eric Gauthier: We have innovation deeply planted in our core. Each of our products is a result of profound expertise and advanced thinking of our engineers, working in partnership with our customers and leading experts and research institutes. We want to make the industry greener. Our commitment to sustainability is deeply ingrained in all aspects of our business, from developing sustainable products to protecting the natural environment and cultural heritage of the communities we work in.

JEC Composites Magazine: What is the weight of composites in your activity?
Eric Gauthier: Our division focuses on the composites business excluding the important soft foam business unit related to rehabilitation and sports

Future is greener

3A Composites Core Materials - The future is greener

JEC Composites Magazine: Do you rely on this sector to ensure your growth?
Eric Gauthier: The composites sector is growing thanks to core materials penetration in new applications which allows seeing steady growth. Fundamentals of this business are positive considering the upward trends of using lightweight materials to reduce energy consumption.

JEC Composites Magazine: Have you planned investments dedicated to this sector?
Eric Gauthier: Schweiter Technologies as a company has strategically invested over the years in composites business, moving from a textile to a 100% composites company. 3A Composites Core Materials continues to devote a large part of its investments to the development of its sustainable key products based on balsa wood and PET.

JEC Composites Magazine: How do you see the future of composites?
Eric Gauthier: The composites future could have a positive outlook supported by solid fundamentals. For 3A Composites Core Materials is key to continue working hard to offer the best cost of ownership to its customers supported by innovative and sustainable solutions to pursue this upward trend.

JEC Composites Magazine: What are your main challenges in this uncertain world?
Eric Gauthier: In a global business, the current tension between the USA and China is clearly a negative factor which comes on top of economic growth deceleration.

Meet 3A Composites Core Materials Division on JEC World 2019, Hall 5, Booth G33.