Patrik Fueeg - VP HR Supply Chain - Carlsberg

What do you love about Switzerland and why?

CH is my Home country, I was born here. Of course I like the stability, the security but also the beautiful landscape.

What advice would you offer to someone moving to Switzerland?

CH has a lot to offer in terms of job opportunities but also in terms of Work/Life Balance to people coming from abroad.

As someone who has had a number of years’ experience within the Swiss market-place, how have you found the Swiss market & working environment has changed over these years?

It has become a lot more international. People may think this is mainly a big financial centre – but in fact we have so many international companies present which give it quite an international working environment. This is coupled with a very local strong Swiss culture – and that combination I find really attractive.

What does your organisation currently do to contribute towards the corporate social responsibility?

Carlsberg as an organisation is running a lot of initiatives to reduce CO2. In the brewing business some of the main areas where we can make a difference are water. We are world leaders in minimising water consumption per litre of beer produced. In packaging we use thinner and renewable material, and then managing the transport and distribution the best way. Our majority shareholder is the “Carlsberg Foundation” which is the biggest donator to science, culture, music and art in Denmark in history. So we are indeed ensuring that we give back to society and the environment.

We see that Carlsberg seems to be going against the market trend and continues to grow. Can you identify how your organisation stands out from the market and your competitors?

What are your growth plans?

There are a lot of great traditions around beer, which we need to keep. But there are also a lot of new things coming up. There are pockets of growth to be found in all markets. There is an interesting trend around craft beer. There is a lot of interest in new products like non-alcoholics, ciders, more healthy products. Our innovation department is quite busy reacting to the changes in the markets in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and especially in the high growth markets in Asia.

What excites you about working for Carlsberg?

There is entrepreneurial spirit in this company that I like very much. There is a lot of history, heritage, tradition, emotions, pride, sense of importance of quality connected to our brands and the whole brewing tradition, and the product. That makes it truly a great beer company to work for. You have your heart with you in this job.

If you could go back and give your younger (graduate) self some career advice, what would it be?

I am now working in an office with 33 nationalities present, I did not imagine this 30 years ago. So my advice would be to open your mind towards input from other countries and cultures. The world is bigger than you think, and becoming connected faster than you think. So being open to trends and changes from outside will help you in your career – and also make your life more interesting.

Being a sparring partner is a pre requisite for an HR/Finance Division- what do you feel makes an effective sparring partner?

First of all you have to understand the need of the business. An HR Division can drive and manage change together with the Line Managers to a large extent. HR people should first of all support the business initiatives, and of course challenge their colleagues along the way about ways of working etc.

If you had not made a career in HR, what would you have preferred doing?

I did not have a plan for my career when I went to school. I made the choices and chose the different paths along the way depending on what was most interesting at the point in time. Luckily this has taken me to some very interesting places in my work life where I have had the opportunity to learn and grow.

What makes you relaxed from working in such a pressured role?

Relaxed I would say is the wrong word. It is more about having a great team that makes you confident to manage most of the upcoming challenges.

What are your personal motivators?

The success of the company and the satisfaction of the employees are probably my biggest motivators. To see how a company and its employees are developing, I guess this is one of the biggest successes working in a senior leader role in HR.

When did you decide to explore a career in this area and why?

How did you plan out your career development path?

HR went through a huge transformation over the last 30 years. Personally I believe that if you really want to move something in HR, you have to stay a certain period in the role. In my case, I was always offered a new challenge after several years, so it was not a very active career planning from my side. As long as I can learn and the job is challenging I am more than happy in my career.

How important was it for you to develop relationships outside of your department for career development?

When you stay isolated in HR and do not go for active relationships outside your department you cannot be an effective HR Leader. You have to understand the need of the Business, so I believe it is extremely important to develop relationship outside your department.

What do you love the most about your current role?

To work in a global role with all the different cultures I love very much. But it is also the fact of the huge transformation that Carlsberg is currently is going through, that I love very much.

What recruitment challenges do you face?

Carlsberg is an attractive international company with a well-known global brand and a good reputation. But it is always a challenge to find the best candidates. It is about the quality of the people, their willingness to deliver strong results, and not give up the first time they run into a bit of headwind.

What attributes do you look for when choosing a recruitment partner?

It is about professional work, reliability and trust in the partner who is conducting the recruitment process for me. It has to be somebody who understands the need of Carlsberg when recruiting in people.

What advice would you give to future aspiring leaders, and why?

Be authentic. Do not just think about how to develop your own personal career, but think about how you support the development of your company. If you do that, I am convinced that you will also grow your career. Be brave. Be ready to make decisions and point the direction – rather than focusing on covering your backside.

Describe yourself in 3 words

Ambitious, balanced and experienced

If you could choose an Artistic/Musical/Sporting career, who would it be and why?

Probably a musical career, as I love music overall and I also enjoy playing the guitar and piano.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Probably Music

 

*Views and opinions contained within our Executive Interviews are those of the Interviewee and not views shared by EMEA Recruitment.*

 

 
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