In an Exclusive Vision Monday Interview, Essilor’s Sagnieres Takes a Global View

Hubert Sagnieres, chairman and
CEO of Essilor International.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla.—After officially assuming the roles of both chairman and chief executive officer of Essilor International (Paris: EI) on Jan. 2, 2012, Hubert Sagnieres met with Vision Monday for an exclusive interview three days later at the 2012 Essilor national sales meeting. CEO since Jan. 1, 2010, and now with the added responsibilities of chairman, Sagnieres stands at the helm of this international spectacle lens company with 50,000 employees in 54 countries. This global reach offers him a unique perspective on eyeglass manufacturing and distribution throughout the world in general and in the U.S. specifically. Essilor’s worldwide leadership was recently acknowledged by Forbes magazine, which ranked the company as number 25 among The World’s Most Innovative Companies

“You can’t stay in an industry doing one type of product, eyeglass lenses, for over 160 years, being the leader of that industry, without innovating constantly on products and services,” Sagnieres told Vision Monday about Essilor’s innovation. “Today, 50 percent of our sales are for products that did not exist four years ago, and there are not that many companies that can say that.”

Against the backdrop of the Essilor meeting, Sagnieres discussed with Vision Monday a wide range of issues affecting the global optical industry. Among the topics he addressed were the wide range of unmet needs related to vision care throughout the world, Essilor’s innovation mission, and the adoption rates of new technologies in the U.S. and other world markets. The interview also focused on specific new product initiatives such as Optifog lenses and Crizal UV, Essilor’s continuing acquisitions, and the company’s desire to increase its social sustainability initiatives in 2012. Click here for the full interview.