Generational shift: 35-year-old humanist becomes CEO in technical specialist enterprise
Finn Cederstrøm is a happy and proud man. For eight years he shared with his daughter, Signe Cederstrøm, daily knowledge about inks, colour mixes and machines.
Now it is official: As from the 1st of December 2019, Signe Cederstrøm is the new CEO at Resino Inks. She takes over the position from her father. The former CEO shares the ownership equally between each of his three children – including Signe Cederstrøm.
“It is with the right feeling that I am handing over the keys. Signe has been working at Resino for several years. She possesses both the interest and the skills to develop the business to the next level,” said Finn Cederstrøm and adds, that the enterprise is about to experience organizational changes in the forthcoming years.
From local sole proprietorship to global actor
As a young Laboratory Technician, Finn Cederstrøm bought Resino at a foreclosure auction back in 1982. Ever since he has developed the company, which now furnishes 50 employees.
“When we started Resino, we had 14 Danish inking supplier competitors and we operated on a local level. Now we are the only one left and our revenue comes from mainly international markets. We could never have dreamt of a development like this,” said Finn Cederstrøm.
Resino Inks is one of very few worldwide ink suppliers specializing in production of inks for the food and packaging industry, including food packaging and sausage casing, but also nappies, toothpaste tubes and other products with high standards for health, food safety, environmental and quality demands.
The global trade market states specific demands to ink production and is one of the reasons why Resino now chooses to implement a generational shift.
“Resino needs a more stable ink production and Signe is the right person to conduct the necessary organizational changes. She is much more organizational than I am,” said Finn Cederstrøm.
A major part of Resino´s raw material comes from Asia. If any problems occur in the supply chain, Resino will experience challenges of supplying customers. For that reason, the management prepared a strategy to ensure that the stock in Ballerup is always full of basic inks and that the ink production is stable and systematic.
Signe Cederstrøm is one of the major brains behind the new strategy:
“Today, we start producing the specific ink when receiving the order, but in the future, we will stock basic inks. By doing so, we prevent periods of peak loads, where we are not able to exploit our full capacity,” she said.
The dream of becoming a Danish Lecturer
Signe Cederstrøm is happy and proud of the changes she has already made in her father’s business. However, her CEO position was not written in the stars. For many years she thought, in fact, that she was born to do something completely different.
After high school she took the university route, with her big passion in her mind: Literature.
Back in 2005 she was therefore accepted to do Danish studies at Copenhagen University.
“I have always loved reading and I still read a lot of books. For that reason, I wanted to become a lecturer,” said Signe Cederstrøm about her young career plans.
However, her plans changed after finishing her studies and Signe was employed as a Communication Consultant in her father’s enterprise.
“I was inspired by Resino, when I realized how important, exciting and diverse the company is,” she said.
The humanistic background of Signe Cederstrøm differs from the other employees, whom are mainly Laboratory Technicians, Chemists and Engineers. According to the new CEO, it has both advantages and disadvantages.
“I don’t have a deep technical understanding. Our management meetings tend to be very technical, but with my attendance we can discuss management without drowning in technical terms,” said Signe Cederstrøm. She continues:
“My educational background has given me analytical skills and taught me how to handle large amounts of knowledge. I can definitely use my analytical and organizational skills in Resino’s organizational changes.”
The long drag wins
Finn Cederstrøm is relieved that Resino will continue to be a family business.
“For that I am extremely proud. Resino is like a child to me and I am pleased to say the company will remain within the family,” said the former CEO.
He will of course be available to advise Signe Cederstrøm, but he stresses that the decision making is fully her responsibility.
“I have now passed the management over and I know Signe will make the right decisions,” he said.
For the new CEO, it is the culmination of several years of hard work and the beginning of a new chapter.
“I do have butterflies in my stomach because the responsibility is very big. However, I have faith in the strategy we have prepared for Resino,” said Signe Cederstrøm.