On May 1st, 2023, third-generation owner, and current CEO Nikolaj Stærmose will step down from daily operations and become chairman of the board of Juliana Drivhuse A/S. Jesper Vilstrup will be the new CEO.
"The company has developed positively over several years, and we are on the verge of a new development phase. The wild corona years are behind us, and with a fresh strategic plan on the table, I feel that the timing is right to bring in a new daily responsible," says Nikolaj Stærmose. Continuity is maintained when Nikolaj succeeds his father Bo Stærmose as chairman, and this continuity supports the desire for the family to continue to exercise active ownership in close cooperation with the new management. "Of course, it will be a change when, for the first time in the company's sixty-year history, it is no longer a family member who is involved in daily management," says Nikolaj Stærmose, but emphasizes that "today there is such a strong organization that this alone ensures continuity." The current owner also does not hide that Jesper Vilstrup comes with a great deal of experience and a toolbox that supports Juliana's further development and desire for growth.
Strong background in family-owned companies
Jesper Vilstrup comes with more than 20 years of business and management experience with strong consumer brands such as LEGO, STIMOROL, and BMW. He has extensive experience from family-owned companies after 8 years at DANDY, 14 years in the LEGO Group, and most recently 7 years as CEO of LEGO House in Billund. In addition, Jesper sits on the board of Nic. Christiansen Gruppen and Museum Kolding. As CEO of LEGO House, Jesper led the establishment and scaling of LEGO House, which today is a recognized world-class LEGO experience centre.
Nikolaj says about Jesper, "During the recruitment process, I have gotten to know Jesper as a very sympathetic and straightforward person, who emphasizes the importance of employees thriving and being happy to come to work. In addition, Jesper has an immediate enthusiasm for Juliana's products and the company's history. After our agreement was reached at Christmas time, we have spent many hours together on the phone and on walks, so I am confident that Jesper will have a great start. I know that, with the announcement, he is looking forward to meeting the more than 150 employees in Denmark, Germany, and England."
'We help people grow.'
Jesper says, "I am incredibly excited to become a part of the Juliana family. Already during the recruitment phase, I could feel the very special Juliana spirit, which is characterized by decency, presence, quality, good business sense, and international outlook. Together with all my new colleagues, I look forward to realizing the visions for Juliana. I am very humble in relation to the trust Nikolaj has shown me, and I know that both the potential and ambitions for the company are great. And I am crazy about the company's aim and focus on people – We help people grow."