Schneider Electric picks new automation leader

June 9, 2021

Schneider Electric appointed Barbara Frei as the new executive VP of its global Industrial Automation business. She takes over from Peter Herweck, who was appointed as CEO of AVEVA on May 1. 

Frei served as Schneider Electric's executive VP for Europe operations since 2019, and retains her role as a member of the company’s executive committee. She's is based Zurich, Switzerland, and will report directly to Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric’s chairman and  CEO. 

Frei will enable Schneider Electric's customers and partners to benefit from its next-generation, sustainable, resilient and people-centric "Industries of the Future" solutions, and strengthen the call for universal automation. She brings a blend of business and engineering acumen to her new role, as well as a deep understanding of the telecommunications industry. She's committed to continuing close collaboration with all of Schneider’s strategic partners, including AVEVA.

Frei joined Schneider Electric in 2016 as country president for Germany, and in 2017 expanded her scope as zone president of DACH, which covers Germany, Austria and Switzerland. She started her career as a development project manager for motors and drives at ABB Switzerland, held various senior management positions at ABB, including regional responsibility as country manager for the Czech Republic and regional manager for the Mediterranean area in Italy. Frei  holds a doctorate degree in electrical machines from ETH Zurich and an MBA from IMD Lausanne.