Solar's CEO celebrates his 25th anniversary: My curiosity never goes away
News July 31, 2023
On 1 August, Jens Andersen celebrates his 25th anniversary at the listed sourcing and service company Solar A/S. He has a theoretical background as a business economist, HD(R), and accountant, and his first day at Solar Danmark A/S was as a financial manager.
The following year, he became a member of the executive board of Solar Danmark A/S. His Solar career has also included almost two years in Germany, where he was Managing Director of Solar Deutschland GmbH. This company has been sold off today, but Solar A/S still has subsidiaries in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, and the Faroe Islands.
In 2012, Jens Andersen became Managing Director of Solar Danmark A/S, and five years later he was appointed CEO of the entire group.
As CEO, one of his first tasks was to clean up the group's companies and acquisitions and refocus on the core business. The launch of the Core strategy became a reality, followed by the Core+ strategy. Common to both strategies has been a significant increase in earnings for the Solar Group with earnings growth for 17 consecutive quarters and record-high revenue and earnings in 2022.
Solar A/S enters the third strategy period from the year-end with Jens Andersen at the helm.
Customer relationship is still crucial
After 25 years, the dialogue and close contact with the customers are still crucial. But the way of selling has changed significantly, as more than 60 percent of the total group turnover now comes from digital sales via webshop and app.
"Our customer relationships are pivotal - it's the customers we live on," says Jens Andersen.
In his 25 years, he met four major crises - most recently COVID-19, which has been the most unpredictable and challenging to manage as CEO.
"It was difficult to run a business when customers and employees were not allowed to go to work, and the industry came to a standstill for a while. Although, I also remember the financial crisis, COVID-19 was a crisis unlike anything I have experienced in my career," he says.
Fortunately, the company pulled through, and in 2022, the group delivered its best financial result ever.
Each time, however, the crises have shown the special spirit of Solar, where employees not only work together but stick together, he explains.
"And that makes me particularly proud. Our employees make the difference".
A different leader than 25 years ago
It's not just sales and customer relations that have changed. The career of 25 years at Solar has also changed Jens Andersen as a person and leader.
"I think I have become more calm and have learned to take an extra breath before I act."
However, some things will always remain status quo.
"I will always be interested in how we create new business opportunities and develop as a company. Despite 25 years in the same company, I'm still curious. My curiosity never goes away."
About Jens Andersen
1998: Chief Financial Officer at Solar Danmark A/S.
1999: Member of the Executive Board of Solar Danmark A/S.
2010: Managing Director, Solar Deutschland GmbH
2012: Managing Director, Solar Danmark A/S
2017: CEO, Solar Group
Board positions: DI byggeri, VELTEK and HF Christiansen A/S