Fritz Gerber, a legendary former leader of Zurich Insurance Group, has died.

Gerber was 91. He passed away on May 10, 2020, according to the company, which did not disclose further details.

“Fritz Gerber was a remarkable leader and is rightly considered one of the greatest company managers in Switzerland,” Michel Li├Ęs, Zurich’s Chairman, said in prepared remarks. “At Zurich, his leadership was characterized by a far-sightedness, a strategic mindset and an ability to bring out the best in people. He significantly contributed to Zurich’s strategic positioning and commercial success.”

Group CEO Mario Greco said in prepared remarks that Zurich will miss Gerber’s passion, prudence and clear thinking. Greco also offered thanks “for everything he did for our company.”

Gerber had been with Zurich for nearly 40 years, and the company he led credited him with being “one of the most influential business leaders in Switzerland during a period of formative development for the country’s modern, open economy.”

Gerber’s nearly 40 years with Zurich included 17 years as Chief Executive Officer and 18 years as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Zurich noted in its announcement of Gerber’s death that the executive was ahead of his time in understanding the needs of international companies. In the 1970s he started to introduce products and services at Zurich that helped its customers succeed in an increasingly global business environment, Zurich said.

Gerber was born on March 22, 1929, in Huttwil, Switzerland, and he joined Zurich in 1958. In 1969 he was appointed General Manager and was named CEO in 1974, a position he held until 1991. From 1977 until 1995, he served as Zurich’s Chairman, and had been Honorary Chairman ever since.

Source: Zurich Insurance Group