Leadership must create meaning
With the move from Novozymes to Maersk, Pernille Krogh-Meyer has fewer employees under her. On the other hand, she has moved closer to the business, and that brings her more meaning.
At Maersk, IT has been combined into one unit across the different brands. Pernille Krogh-Meyer is Brand CIO for Svitzer, which is a towage company that’s part of Maersk. Her team serves Svitzer strategically as well as tactically as part of supporting Svitzer’s future strategy.
“I like being a leader and helping other people develop, and I especially want to be involved in determining the company’s direction. It just has to be for the right purpose – and it has to create meaning. I have gone from having 13 employees to just 3 specialists under me, but I’ve now come really close to the business.”
Being part of the expanded management team in both IT and Svitzer, together with the business-oriented focus, perfectly fits Pernille’s temperament. In her thesis in applied mathematics at DTU, Pernilles’ focus was on solving a specific business challenge. Then it was for British Airways.
Always one of the boys
At high school, she considered both a linguistic and mathematical path. Her mother pointed out that mathematics opened more doors. Later, she said the same thing about an engineering degree when Pernille considered studying mathematics and physics at university.
“I listened to my mother, but I think it’s most important to choose your qualifications according to your interest. I did the same with applied mathematics. At university, the boys mostly went for software development and coding, while the few girls tended to use coding to solve mathematical problems.”
As a child, Pernille was a tomboy who played both football and bass guitar. Today she is a Liverpool fan and enjoys watching a football match and drinking a beer – ideally with her husband. It isn’t just her interests that mean she’s always found it easiest to be ‘one of the boys’. It’s also a mindset and a way of acting.
Do your best
“When I’d just graduated, I did everything at top speed. Today, I have become more politically conscious and build networks in a different way. And this is important. I don’t have a concrete dream of where I want to go in my career. If I did, I’d say it out loud. I’m more driven by challenges and think it is healthy to stretch your boundaries.”
It was with eager anticipation of the working time culture that Pernille Krogh-Meyer started at Maersk. But even though ambition levels are high, there’s still room for life. She also has time for both her husband, their two small sons, a lively dog and crossfit training in addition to her work.
“It’s fun to move up onto a bigger scale and be part of a huge company. There’s really room here to accomplish something. I’m not driven by the material, but instead by meaning. I believe you should always do your best. Then you’ll probably get to where you want to be.”