The Secret to Top Leader Henrik Poulsen

Henrik Poulsen  CEO of Ørsted

writer icon Kristine Hanson     Ørsted   |   Business     🕐 02. May. 2019

Vision, purpose, and 'the whys' to Ørsted were discussed when CEO, Henrik Poulsen was interviewed by Niels Lunde, Editor in Chief at Børsen, in a podcast.

Danish energy corporation Ørsted has risen to the top of the Denmark's business industry. It is now valued far higher than the world-renowned Danish shipping company, Mærsk.

A new path
Since his arrival at Ørsted back in 2012, Poulsen has made substantial changes to the company. For instance, back then the company was called DONG Energy. Along with the name change, Poulsen steered the entire course of the company in a new direction: from having previously been a coal and gas-based corporation, to now only focusing on green energy.

“Our core business is to deliver green energy in a large-scale” Poulsen said, and added that he found it important to always look at what sector your business is in. How is the sector doing in general? What size and position does your business take within that sector? Poulsen is not afraid to ask the most rudimentary questions and, from that, start a process of reformation when needed.

Mindset: a game changer
With a mindset that seems closer to what one might find in a startup environment, Poulsen leads the large corporation with an agile and purpose-driven mindset. He carries out a strategic approach to his leading, which is rare to see in large companies.

Poulsen’s focus on reformation, while also being careful to not get stuck in old ways of viewing company values, allows for the corporation to evolve and adapt to current times.

When asked about sticking to the original company vision versus making a whole new version, Poulsen said: “I actually believe that it can be a dangerous thing to say, that it [the vision of a company] must be consistent over time, because that can block you from thinking from that reformation needed in any given company.”

Moving forward
In his recent success, the CEO of Ørsted is not planning on slowing down. Poulsen explains that he finds it extremely important that leadership in any business is continually critical, and that allowing for continuous change is essential.

When asked about whether technological developments could have an effect on Ørsted in the future, Poulsen did not reject it, answering: ”It easily can,” before adding ”but of course if you look 10 or 20 years ahead, it may well be that the corporation will have to reinvent itself again.”

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