Decisions and announcements – June has heralded some significant changes in our management team. Asger Kej – who has been at the head of our company for 17 years as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), has decided to pass on the baton of leadership. “I’ve decided that the time is right to step down – for me and for DHI,” says Asger.
Asger has been with DHI for 39 years and the company has flourished under his robust, intelligent and caring leadership. We are indeed sad to see him go and we will relentlessly strive to nurture the work he has placed in our care.
“What fosters our gratitude is what Asger is handing over to us – the heritage. And after almost 50 years of polishing, I think it’s fair to say that what is being handed over to us is a beautiful, beautiful gem. It’s not given to us, it’s given to our custody – for us to protect and develop and continue polishing and to hand it over to the next generations,” says Antoine Labrosse, Chief Operating Officer (COO), DHI.
Antoine’s words mirror exactly what we at DHI feel and we are happy to announce that he, along with other members of a new management team, will now be leading us. As of 1 July 2013, Antoine Labrosse will take over as Group CEO. Jacob Høst-Madsen, currently Consultancy Director for DHI Denmark, will take over as Group COO and Managing Director of DHI Denmark. Peter Rasmussen will continue as Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Together they will comprise the new ‘C suite.’
"The ability of a company to produce talented leaders from its own ranks is a true strength," says Jørgen Bardenfleth, Strategy Director, Microsoft International and Chairman of the DHI board.
Asger took on the role of CEO in 1996. Back then, DHI was the Danish Hydraulic Institute and had a staff of just 200 people in Denmark. He steered the company through:
- mergers (with the Danish Water Quality Institute in 2000 and with the Danish Toxicology Centre in 2005)
- acquisitions (Hydroinform [Czech Republic] in 1997, WASY [Germany] in 2007, CPH Water [South Africa] in 2008)
- tremendous organic growth through the years
Under his watchful eye, our organisation evolved, globalised and transformed into the present DHI – the expert in water environments. Thanks to him, we now employ 1,100 people in 30 countries. During his tenure, MIKE by DHI technology has become the world’s preferred commercial software for modelling water. Moreover, we are now leading the way with a new line of technology – MIKE CUSTOMISED by DHI – aimed at supporting complex decision making in water environment management.
All these successes are the result of hard work and innovation attributed to the entire organisation. However, it was Asger’s strategic instinct and capacity to empower international talents that sparked these changes and led them to fruition. We will continue on the path of success that Asger has painstakingly cleared for us. From July through December, Asger will work for DHI to secure a smooth transition to the new leadership team, as well as to assist with selected strategic activities.
Here’s more about DHI’s new top management:
Age – 41
Education – Engineering degree from Grenoble, France
Experience – He has 16 years of experience with DHI, including our office in France, which he created in 2000. In 2010, he moved back to Denmark to take on the position of Group COO. In this position he was responsible for strategy execution, R&D, HR and marketing. In addition to his Group COO role, he has also served as Regional Director of our offices in North and South America.
Role as of 1 July 2013 – Chief Executive Officer
Age – 51
Education – He graduated from Denmark’s Technical University (DTU) from which he also holds a PhD.
Experience – He has worked with DHI for 22 years, 16 years in leadership positions.
Role as of 1 July 2013 – The current Managing Director of DHI Denmark, Karsten Havnø, will now work as the full time Regional Director of DHI Europe & Africa. Jacob will take over Karsten’s responsibilities in Denmark. He will also take over Antoine’s role as Chief Operating Officer.
Age – 56
Education – Copenhagen Business School
Experience – He has been the Group Chief Financial Officer since 1997.
Role as of 1 July 2013 – He will continue in his capacity as Group Chief Financial Officer.
We thank Asger for giving so much of himself to DHI over the past four decades and wish him every happiness going forward. We also look forward to the dynamic new leaders of DHI and wish them the very best in successfully carrying the baton that has been passed on to them.