Thomas studied at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and graduated in 1985 with an MBA degree (lic. oec. HSG) and received his Ph.D. (Dr. oec. HSG) in 1989. His doctoral thesis, The Role of the Board of Directors in Strategic Management, contributed to some of the first corporate governance discussions in Switzerland.
Thomas acquired financial experience as the CFO of an international Swiss textile company. He then moved into executive search as a Consultant. This was followed by a transition into the technology area, where besides activities in venture capital and business development, he coordinated the management restructuring of a well-known globally operating Swiss conglomerate. In 1993, Thomas was named Managing Director, Switzerland of a leading producer of hand-hygiene and washroom products gaining experience in production and service management. In 1998, he joined a worldwide engineering group as a member of the executive board and was made head of the international division of the Facility Management and Service sectors. Later, Thomas led the European, African and Asian divisions, where he had full profit and loss responsibility. Thomas was the appointed Director at a leading global executive search firm in Zurich. He was responsible for transnational searches for CEOs, Managing Directors and other Members of Executive Management Teams for top-tier corporations and institutions. In 2005, Thomas founded his own executive search firm.