Interview with Pierre Bengtsson

Interview with Pierre Bengtsson

“The company is in its most expansive phase ever. What are the ideas behind now taking a step back and how do you feel about it?
“I planned to take a step back in the next few years so that I could focus more on my work for the company’s board. However, when Mats came onto the horizon, everything went more quickly than planned. Life can be like that at times. Still, for me, it’s an entirely natural step. In our present phase, we need different skills and a new driving force. Mats fits the bill. 

“With all the skillful workers who have joined the company in the past two years and the organization we have established, I’m confident about my decision. I also think it will be incredibly exciting to watch the company develop from my new perspective as owner and board member.” 

“All the decisions you’ve taken over the years have been in the company’s best interests. The same applies here, but this time the decision has massive repercussions for you personally. How does that feel deep down?”
“There are many feelings rushing through my head. Of course, these include a certain apprehension. However, that’s always the case with major changes. I’m used to taking decisions that impact on others. Thus, in some way, I also have to be prepared for decisions that impact on me. Nonetheless, there is obviously some apprehension.” 

“What will your future involvement be?”
“I won’t be disappearing from the company, but I also won’t have any operational responsibilities. Apart from board work, I’ll be around to provide support for Mats and our companies abroad. I’ll also be passing on my experience of the industry to our new recruits. However, Mats and senior management will be calling the tune.” 

“What will you miss on the operational side?” 
“All the employees. Were a large family. I’ll miss that most.” 

“You’ve done an almost inhuman amount of travelling. Will you miss that?” 
“I’ll still be travelling, but not to the same extent. Thus, there’s definitely going to be a little travel abstinence,” responds Pierre with a huge smile. 

“One thing I won’t miss about travelling is the feeling that creeps up on me after two weeks back home. It’s a sort of panic that we’re losing sales opportunities and that the world is coming to a standstill. It’s not a nice feeling, so it’ll be good to escape that. However, we now also work in an entirely different way. We’re expanding the company via local establishments worldwide. This means there doesn’t have to be as much air travel as before. We’ve always worked for sustainability. Thus, it’s good to now have new blood that is also passionate about the subject, but in its own way.” 

“What is the biggest challenge facing Mats?”
“MAFI’s values globally amongst all its employees. Bringing everybody aboard the same boat and rowing in the same direction.” 

“What do you feel has been your greatest strength as a leader?”
Never giving up. I’ve been through much adversity over the years, but never given up. Then there’s my long-term approach. Regardless of whether things are going well or badly, I work towards long-term goals.” 

“What’s the major lesson you’ve taken from your twenty years here?” 
“That things don’t always turn out as imagined.” 

“Are you good at handling things not turning out as imagined?” 
Yes. I don’t think that the unease I’ve sometimes felt on various occasions has spread to those around me. At least, that’s what I think!” 

“What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?”
“To work close and on a regular basis with Kent and Philip on the board