From CBS to CEO at TELMORE
Name: Jens Grønlund Nielsen
Title: CEO at TELMORE
Company: TDC Group
When my new job at TELMORE was announced, I really felt that I was part of a group that was very much in the public eye. Consequently, I received a lot of input from family, friends, colleagues, business partners and the media. This is what happens when you work in the TDC Group – everyone has an opinion about your workplace! Some people are ambassadors, some are critics, but what they all share is a clear stance on Denmark’s largest telecom group.
I work in the TDC Group as CEO for the mobile company TELMORE. A job where I have overall responsibility for the company which, by virtue of its more than 600,000 customers, is Denmark’s biggest (and first) online telecommunications company. I am 31 years old, and naturally, the job is by far the biggest career challenge to date.
The fact that I ended up at TELMORE was not planned, nor was it a complete coincidence. My career began at Berlingske Media, where I spent almost eight years in various roles, all of which focused on sales and management. While there, I completed my MSc in Business Administration (Strategy and Organisation) and was therefore very keen for my next job to not only be in a different sector, but offer the chance to become directly involved in planning, strategy and product development. The opportunity came in the role of Head of Commercial Management at TELMORE back in April 2013, and ever since I have been drawn ever deeper into a dynamic, turbulent and sometimes chaotic telecommunications industry. People aren’t joking when they say “a year in the telecom industry is like three years anywhere else!”
While my working day at the TDC Group is extremely varied, it typically starts very early in the morning. I do a lot to keep in shape – so that I have the surplus energy and resources I need to hold down a challenging job. A couple of times a week, I therefore start the day with a morning run or a visit to the fitness centre. Otherwise, I arrive at work early and use the peace and quiet to write mails and prepare for the day’s numerous meetings before the office begins to fill up. In my type of job, you can’t avoid a lot of meetings, but in general I think we’re good at making decisions and getting good value from the relatively high volume of meetings. I’m never bored in my job, and I feel privileged that my work involves long-term strategy, high operational business responsibility as well as the chance to be where the action is – planning campaigns, developing new products or optimising our sales channel performance, for example.
I’m competitive all the way to my core. This competitive spirit has transformed me from a mediocre talent into a proficient football player, it has driven my motivation in all the years I have worked with sales management, and it drives me now in my desire to transform and succeed with our projects at TELMORE. I also believe that, if asked, my employees and colleagues would describe me as competitive and ambitious, and I hope that these traits benefit me in my executive role. They must, of course, be controlled, and I am therefore also very conscious of the need to have fun along the way. A winner mentality, positive collaboration coupled with the belief that hard work brings success are therefore key to the culture which I strive to create in my organisation.
If I were to name one common feature of working at the TDC Group, it would be the exceptionally high level of professionalism. Throughout the group, I meet many dedicated and competent colleagues who are passionate about their work. Personally, it motivates me to try even harder, and it is precisely in the area of professionalism that I have seen the biggest development in the three years I have been with the TDC Group. Over and above the development that my everyday job brings, I have just completed a two-year training programme with the TDC Group – Corporate High Potential – together with 20 colleagues across the group. Organised by CBS, the programme has provided not only access to new theoretical knowledge, but most importantly a broad and strong network across the group, which I value highly.
I don’t believe in the notion of a detailed, long-term career plan. My next career step is, therefore, not clearly defined. I believe that opportunities present themselves to those who are fully committed to achieving success in the here and now and who are aware and willing to adapt when the need arises. Right now, there are plenty of exciting changes on the horizon within the TDC Group, which is why I see ample opportunity to play a key role in these and develop my career further.