Peter has spent 15 years at Volvo, primarily focusing on Supply Chain and operations. Initially, he was involved in R&D, but due to capacity constraints at the Eskilstuna site, he was asked to lead an investment and lean project in the Supply Chain field. There, he became more interested in this area and developed as a leader.
What led you to start a career as an Interim Manager?
“I had been living abroad for 6 years and had a minor midlife crisis. When I returned home, I wanted a change. Unfortunately, most companies are not well-equipped to reintegrate people like me. So, I made the decision to leave my employer and start working as an Interim Manager. I have had various interim roles in companies like LKAB, Consolis, and Green Cargo.”
You are the Head of Supply Chain at Rexel’s Swedish operations. Can you give us an overview of the company?
“Rexel is a French corporation with its headquarters in Paris. Rexel Sweden operates as an electrical wholesaler, providing technical expertise and solutions to customers. We specialize in solar power and electrification. In Sweden, we have 59 stores and two distribution warehouses, for which I am responsible as the Supply Chain Director.”
Your role initially began as an interim assignment. What were your responsibilities as an Interim Manager?
“It was a significant leadership challenge. When I started in March 2022, the company was at a turning point, requiring a major transformation journey. My task was to analyse the current situation, identify necessary changes, and implement them. We have now established excellent leadership by replacing a few leaders and modernizing the approach. Our focus is on people, and we communicate simple messages. In our Jordbro distribution centre, we have a diverse team with 18 different nationalities. Effective communication and message repetition are crucial. We prioritize safety, ensure a positive work culture, and celebrate individual achievements every day. To me, leadership means connecting with people, being a mood manager, and dressing in a way that fosters relatability rather than being a distant executive in a suit.”
In terms of change leadership, what strategies do you employ?
“Change leadership involves establishing structures, having a clear agenda, working with change, and ensuring that the right people are in the right positions. It’s important to explore different possibilities and communicate with clarity and openness. At Rexel, we needed a leader who could drive change quickly and create a positive culture. I am now a permanent employee, and I’m enjoying the challenge and the opportunities this company offers.”
When should a company consider engaging an Interim Manager, and what are the benefits?
“Engaging an Interim Manager is beneficial when an organization wants to drive change, think innovatively, make tough decisions, or build new teams. Interim Managers are adept at facilitating rapid change and bringing fresh perspectives to the table.”
What do you find most rewarding about being an Interim Manager?
“One of the most rewarding aspects is experiencing different organizations and bringing a wealth of knowledge from previous roles. I have learned from my mistakes and gained valuable insights. It’s fulfilling to share those experiences and help organizations overcome challenges. Regardless of the industry, many challenges remain similar. Supply Chain, in particular, is constantly evolving and affected by global events. You must have an inclination towards change and be prepared to navigate through events like pandemics, wars, digitalization, and globalization.”
What gives you energy and balance outside of work?
“I live in the countryside, which allows me to recharge by being close to nature. After living in major cities like Sao Paulo and Brussels, I appreciate the tranquillity and lack of neighbours. It’s calming and pleasant for me.”
Finally, do you have any travel tips?
“I enjoy skiing, especially in the Alps. My favourite place to ski is Austria. It offers breathtaking scenery and excellent slopes for skiing enthusiasts like me.”