Meet Jean-François de Saussure – Colart’s new Board Member


Jean-François de Saussure is a seasoned Board Member and CEO, with valuable experience in the fine art materials industry and in family businesses management.

Jean-François de Saussure, Colart’s new Board Member

We speak with Jean-François about his appointment as a Colart Board Member, his thoughts on Colart and his professional experience.

Hi Jean-François, welcome to Colart and the Lindéngruppen family! Tell us about your experience and what you bring to Colart.

For over nine years, I was CEO of Caran d’Ache, which is a Swiss family-owned manufacturer and distributor of fine art materials and writing instruments. Knowing the fine art materials industry pretty well, I look forward to learning more about Colart’s products and market environment.

My industry knowledge and commercial edge are key elements of what I will bring to Colart. In particular I look forward to supporting the leadership team with my experience of complementing traditional B2B sales with a B2C focus and omni-channel distribution in a rapidly evolving business environment.

What attracted you to Colart?

I have always had great admiration for Colart and its well-respected brands. I believe Colart has a fantastic blend of reputable legacy brands, such as Winsor & Newton, Lefranc Bourgeois and Conté à Paris – the true inventor of pencils! – and more modern brands, such as Liquitex and Snazaroo. This combination of tradition and innovation strongly attracts me in contributing to Colart’s forward-looking business strategy with sustainability at its core. Fine art material choices are driven by high-quality products and commitments to protecting the environment and adding value to society. Collaborating with Lindéngruppen is also appealing as I have worked for family-owned companies for more than 25 years and is something I feel passionately about.

What potential do you see for Colart?

Creativity is one of the most valued skills nowadays and fine art materials foster this. Colart therefore has a lot of exciting potential to showcase how premium-quality products inspire creativity among artists and passionate hobbyists. In the fine art materials industry, there is great potential to develop innovative ways to communicate directly with consumers through digital channels.  

What drives you professionally?

My personal commitment to sustainability and how, beyond business, corporations can contribute to a better world. In that sense, I am fully aligned with Lindéngruppen’s and Colart’s approach to sustainable value creation. This inspiring perspective on value creation will increasingly differentiate Colart, its brands and products in the market.

Tell us more about other projects you are currently involved in.

I serve on different boards and manage a boutique advisory firm focusing on business strategy and development in various industry sectors from consumer products to AI technology. I am a Council Member and Treasurer of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Chair the Board of a pension fund. Also important to me is the time I dedicate to pro bono Board positions in social, art and culture foundations.

Learn more about Colart here.