The medical technology company had not kept up with the changing market conditions. Personal sales had been replaced by procurements with pressured prices, the international expansion had not succeeded, sales stagnated, costs were not adjusted, and profitability had fallen. Also, product development was lagging behind and central control was lacking. The situation was acute. A turnaround was necessary.
While a permanent CEO was being recruited, Nordic Interim supported the company by engaging an interim CEO to develop a new business plan and action program to perform a turnaround. The assignment included evaluation of strategies and organization, review of manufacturing processes, cost reduction, a reworking of the budget, and the integration of acquisitions. A major challenge was to engage and motivate the organization.
Within 15 months, the following results were accomplished:
- A new market analysis was performed, and a new business plan aiming at a more product-driven company was implemented
- A new organization and governance were implemented together with new ways of working with clear responsibilities
- Transparent and clear communication processes and crisis awareness were created, and regular meetings for discussing strategies, problems, and opportunities were held
- A management assessment and a review of management capacity was carried out. Two country managers were replaced, and adjustments were made in the group management. A new CFO was reqruited
- A cost reduction program was initiated
- 7% of the staff were layed off
- The decision was made to await the expanison on new markets until profitability was stabilized
Reflections of the Interim CEO:
“I have more than 20 years of experience from a large international group with a similar target group, so this was an exciting first interim assignment. I had actually retired from operational work and devoted myself to board, mentor and consulting assignments in recent years, but this attracted me!
The employees knew that I was an Interim Manager with the assignment to make a turnaround and develop a new business plan. I was well received because everyone wanted the company to develop in the right direction. Almost surprisingly painless, people contributed to the change and accepted new responsibilities and powers. Several had been waiting for an organizational change and many subsidiaries and factory managers were active in the cost reduction program.
It was very important to be present at the premises at all times. The former CEO had been invisible and employees were happy to have a more present manager. The first few months I also visited all subsidiaries and factories.
The advantage of being interim is to be able to look at the business and what needs to be done objectively. I had no preconceptions and constantly questioned the old ways of working. Every “this is how it is” was met with “why so?” As a result, everyone had to think and reconsider their way of working. The Board wanted to implement the change before a new CEO was appointed and my contract was extended for a total of 15 months. I then joined the board to ensure continuity.”
Interview with Christer Brovinius, experienced turnaround professional
Contact us to discuss your challenges!
Do you want to know more about how we can support you in driving a successful turnaround? We know what competencies, experiences, and leadership style are required to solve your challenges.
Björn Henriksson, CEO of Nordic Interim
+46 8 503 855 00