Mårten Holmqvist, Interim Manager
Mårten Holmqvist, Interim Manager


Mårten Holmqvist is interim CEO of Tobiasregistret, a register of donors for blood stem cells. We have talked to Mårten about his assignments, about working as an Interim Manager and about his view of leadership.

He has over 22 years of experience within management roles and leadership, which is also the common thread in his career. An important part has always been change management with a focus on business development, sales and finance in companies with complex service sales.

“I have changed industries a number of times and leadership works pretty much the same way everywhere.”

The role as interim CEO at Tobiasregistret is his first interim assignment with the mission of taking care of the organization that has gone through a reorganization, to create stability, processes, new ways of working and a vision for the future.

“It has worked very well. I started by interviewing the staff and getting to know the team. Together, we developed a business plan where everyone has been involved in setting our goals,” Mårten says.

Tobiasregistret is the Swedish register of potential donors of blood stem cells. In the register, the healthcare system finds donors who save patients’ lives. The organization is based in Sweden but operates internationally through collaboration with stem cell registries in other countries.

This year, Tobiasregistret celebrates 30 years, which will be recognized through a large recruitment campaign during the autumn to continue to develop and grow with more donors. The campaign will support the goal of growing by 30,000 new donors per year.

The focus is now on going through agreements, both commercial and for hospitals, to secure the capacity of the transplant centres around the country’s university hospitals. Reporting, internal control, risk management and lobbying to receive grants are also important parts of his work. “We have had a good development and our goal is to become self-sufficient within a couple of years. For the first time, we have a plus result!”

How did you prepare yourself for the assignment?

“After I met with the Chairman of the board, I interviewed the acting CEO to get an analysis of the current situation, and I read through public data. Once the assignment has begun, it is important to present yourself in a good way to the team and adapt the message to the recipient.”

Why did you choose to work as an Interim Manager?

“It has attracted me for a long time to work as an Interim Manager. I do not have a lot of years left in my working life and I do not want to tie myself up for the rest of the time, I want to do fun things and contribute with my experiences. Basically, it is the same experiences that you need both in an interim assignment and as a permanent manager. All leadership begins with understanding what the mission is. You need to do a current situation analysis and see how it is on the inside and on the outside, it is important to quickly understand it. In order to get your employees on board, it is important to create a goal picture with mile stones together and let everyone be involved.”

How do you make sure you have a good work/life balance?

“Lately I have not been very good at this but I usually exercise a lot, I have run 14 marathons! There are many activities that give me energy, I am an entrepreneur and have run companies alongside my roles, I am Chairman of the board of Moment Hälsa & Psykologi (Health & Psychology) and I spend a lot of time in our forest in Östergötland. You have to find ways to empty yourself of negative thoughts and replenish yourself with new energy.”

What 3 things are most important in your leadership?

  1. Communication, which includes gaining trust, getting to know your employees, holding weekly meetings and ensuring participation. This creates energy in the business.
  2. To be a confident leader but at the same time have a high level of integrity combined with transparency and clarity.
  3. Human warmth and heart!

About Tobiasregistret

Logo Tobiasregistret, Tobias Registry

Tobiasregistret is the Swedish register of potential donors of blood stem cells. In the register, the healthcare system finds donors who save patients’ lives. The organization is based in Sweden but operates internationally through collaboration with stem cell registries in other countries. Since the start in 1992, more than 1,200 seriously ill patients have received new stem cells. Today there are over 200,000 people in Tobiasregistret.

This year (2002), Tobiasregistret celebrates 30 years, which will be recognized through a large recruitment campaign during the autumn to continue to develop and grow with more donors. The campaign will support the goal of growing by 30,000 new donors per year.


Heres how to become a donor

Sign up on: www.tobiasregistret.se/in-english/. You will receive a swab-kit. Once this is sent back, it is analysed by a lab in the US and then you are registered. There is no cost to join the registry, but you must be between 18 and 35 years old and fully healthy.


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