New chief executive turns organogram upside down

After five months as interim CEO at Brunata International a/s, David Friisholm has now taken up the position of new chief executive at Brunata, which supplies consumption measuring, allocation accounts and sustainable initiatives to property companies and housing associations throughout Europe.

For the last three years, 58-year-old David Friisholm has been Managing Director of Brunata Scandinavia, where he has not only reorganised the entire business with a view to getting closer to the customers, but also managed to increase the turn-over by more than four per cent on a market with tough competition and great saturation.

According to Eva Fischer Hansen, Deputy Chair of the board of Brunata, it has been crucial to the choice of the new chief executive that he has a good understanding of the business and the family values as well as wishes for Brunata’s future development. Being the chief executive of a family-owned company requires a very special nature.

”David is brave enough to take up the challenge. He is not afraid of challenging the family at the same level as our other employees – even though a couple of them report to him while also being owners. Being able to maintain a balance in such a constallation is an important quality and David is,” she says.

As CEO of Brunata International a/s, David Friisholm will be responsible for the implementation of the agreed strategy 2020, which among other things increases the focus on value-adding service to the customers.

”We have to become far better at delivering in relation to customer expectations and at discovering their requirements. Through dialogue, we must ensure that our customers are given exactly what they need. We wish to move even closer to the customers and that is only possible through direct contact,” David Friisholm says.
Meeting customer expectations not only requires faster implementation of changes, but also increased employee confidence in themselves and their own abilities.

”Usually, an organogram has the managing director at the top, while those who deal with the customers are at the bottom, if included at all. I have turned it upside down, putting myself at the bottom. All the operational units with direct customer contact are at the top.  It is important that the employees understand and see that they have a key role and are important,” David Friisholm explains.

In his opinion, the way to better quality and efficiency is very dependent on a good working environment.

”My management philosophy is that it must be fun to go to work. Brunata must be an inclusive company where the individual employee is given the opportunity to develop. If the management is able to ensure that Brunata is a good place to be, we will also get much more back from our employees. And I tell them this – it must be open and visible.”

At Brunata Scandinavia, this management philosophy with focus on visibility, passion, commitment and the wish to develop and train the employees has had positive results.

”David has created greater job satisfaction and greater focus on how helping each other leads to better quality products and service. He is good at getting the best out of the employees so that they contribute what they do best. We do not want to look only at the bottom line, but to involve the entire company in the process,” Eva Fischer Hansen says.

One of main tasks of the new chief executive will be to exploit the company’s international potential. Brunata is a Danish company which already has activities internationally, but both David Friisholm and Eva Fischer Hansen emphasise that the activities on the international markets must now be strengthened. This requires a focused and pro-active chief executive.

”We cannot conquer the world in the same way as Denmark, but we need to find a common platform and incorporate local adaptations in our marketing, IT, sales drives, product portfolio, etc. We have to develop detailed business plans country by country, market by market, activity by activity,” David Friisholm says and continues:

”We work with milestones which are assessed quarterly and we must focus on how we can help and support the countries to get the same speed and customer focus as in Denmark.”

David Friisholm has extensive international experience and among other things succeeded in established an international partner network as Director for Distributed Services at Scandinavian Airline Data, when he worked and lived in Spain for two years. Before his position as Managing Director of Brunata Scandinavia, he was CEO of the international company InfoCare Service A/S, which he turned into the second-largest multi-vendor service supplier in Denmark within eight years. David Friisholm has also worked for 12 years at Hewlett Packard A/S, where he in different roles contributed significantly to the company’s increased turn-over.

He trained as an officer at the Military Academy at Frederiksberg Castle and while in the army worked on numerous tasks both operationally and in staff roles.

Privately he lives in Hørsholm with his wife and his leisure interests are hunting, golf and committee work. David Friisholm grew up in Holte with music academy trained parents and is very interested in music.


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