CEO’s turnaround required new leaders
CEO of Stark Group Søren P. Olesen does not see gender – only competencies. Today he has a more diverse executive team that makes better decisions.
Søren P. Olesen can’t understand why there is not more competition for female candidates for leadership positions. Without them, companies are renouncing half of the talent pool.
“But in a way it’s good, because it means I get all the most talented candidates,” laughs Søren P. Olesen, CEO of Stark Group.
Søren P. Olesen took over as CEO in 2016 with the goal of turning the business around, which started with a reassessment of management. The result was a new executive team that could help fulfil the CEO’s vision. In order to find the right candidates, it was necessary to widen the search.
“In my experience, age, nationality, gender, industry experience and other backgrounds are not impediments to good leadership – to the contrary, these factors create diversity, which leads to better decisions. Our discussions are more holistic and reflect the market and trends in which we operate,” says Søren P. Olesen.
Forget biases and background
Since 2016 he has appointed CFO Sisse Fjeldsted Rasmussen, Britta K. Stenholt as CEO of Stark Denmark and Lene Groth as HR Director. They are part of an eight-person executive team.
Better decision-making in management has led to higher revenue, expansion of stores, greater customer satisfaction and better results in employee surveys. Søren P. Olesen’s approach to recruitment and good leadership stems particularly from his experience as a manager in Germany and Russia. Here, the right candidate was not always who he had expected it to be. This taught him to broaden his search.
“When recruiting candidates, it is vital to make a virtue of looking beyond your own biases and background. You risk being governed by these things and thereby missing out on the perfect candidate,” says Søren P. Olesen.