Ernesto was appointed CEO of Serono in 1996. Under his leadership, Serono shifted its focus from pharmaceuticals to biotechnology and, over the course of the ensuing decade, revenues more than tripled. In 2007, Serono was sold to Merck KGaA of Germany.
Ernesto’s current business interests include the Waypoint group of asset management and life science investment businesses. Between 2002 and 2009 he served as a board director of UBS AG.
Ernesto is the Co-Chair of the Bertarelli Foundation. He is also the Vice Chair of the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows, a member of the Strategic Advisory Board at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and he is a member of the Stanford Medicine Board of Fellows. In 2008 he was inducted into Babson College’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs. He was also awarded the Légion d’Honneur by President Jacques Chirac of France and the Cavaliere di Gran Croce by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic.
In 2000, Ernesto founded the yachting team Alinghi, which in 2003 defeated Team New Zealand in Auckland to win the America’s Cup, the first time a team had ever won the coveted sailing trophy on its first attempt. The victory brought the Cup back to Europe for the first time since 1851. Ernesto himself served as navigator in 2003 and as an afterguard runner and grinder in 2007, when Alinghi defended the America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain.
Ernesto is married to Kirsty, with whom he lives in Switzerland with their three children. In addition to her substantial work through the Bertarelli Foundation, Kirsty is a talented singer-songwriter who continues to develop her interests in music as an artist signed by Universal Music.