Get an adrenalin kick when we beat the competition
As quite newly appointed CEO of the Danish bakery giant Schulstad in the midst of a burgeoning pandemic, Pernille Bang- Löwgren had her hands full. We called her to talk about challenges, goals and leadership.
What is it like to work with one of Denmark's most famous brands?
“Schulstad was founded in 1886 and is a large part of Danish food culture. Lantmännen bought it 20 years ago and today we have a market-leading position and invest heavily in innovation and brand management. I appreciate the values that prevail here - every single employee is important. This truly is the case, really. To increase motivation it is important to feel respected, it is a fundamental part of our culture.”
What has been most challenging up until now?
“The pandemic has been extremely challenging. We have 700 employees in three locations, bake bread and distribute it around the clock. Looking back on it now, it feels amazing. Employee loyalty got us through the pandemic with good results. A key aspect is that we are so decentralised, everyone should be able to make quick, good decisions by themselves.”
What do you most like about your industry?
“That it moves quickly. We must be innovative and one step ahead and succeed a little better every day, both in terms of our products and with our business. When we, as a team, manage to beat the competition it gives you such an adrenalin kick.”
How is your management style?
“I have been told that people appreciate that I am the same at work as I am at home. My strength is creating good structures and good teams. We must have the best employees. Clarity is also important, you should never go to work without knowing what is expected of you and everyone should know how their efforts contribute to the success of the whole company.”
What will be your most important goal going forward?
“We have to get through this storm that we are in the middle of now, with the energy crisis and inflation. At the same time, we need to take care of each other. A big focus will be on pricing, so that consumers choose us over the competition. We have succeeded well so far, but now we have to hang in there and keep building.”
FAMILY: Swedish husband and two daughters, 12 and 13.
YEARS IN LANTMÄNNEN: 4
DOING RIGHT NOW: CEO Schulstad, since 1 February 2021.
PREVIOUS ROLE: Sales Director at Lantmännen Schulstad.
BACKGROUND: Master’s from Copenhagen Business School. Started in marketing but switched direction to sales. Have, among other things, been CEO at Haribo.
IN LEISURE TIME: Sing in a choir, run and spend time with the family. Have a summer place in Ingarö outside Stockholm in Sweden.