Michael Olson prefers sweaters business suits and luxury offices warehouses. Unusual CEO runs the company with great success, and talks about the future global expansion. He spoke with Metro in the IKEA store in Helsingborg.
We are in the midst of the global economic downturn. The IKEA, as the world's leading seller of budget furniture, benefiting from the recession?
People have certainly become more sober in assessing the value of things. We are currently in talks with several cities and governments to open new stores, which will obviously create new jobs. For example, we will increase the pace in Spain, Italy and the UK.
You started your career as a salesman at IKEA. How do you become a leader?
Our roots are in the Swedish region of Småland, where simplicity, entrepreneurial spirit and human relationships are essential. People who do well with us use these qualities. I regularly visit stores and suppliers and speak with our staff. We try to reduce the values of status and rank, we want to be closer to the earth, to be motivated, honest and innovative people. We recruit people because of their merits, not because of their experience. The person is important, not his resume. You can learn and develop at work. It is important to be the same person at work as at home.
What is your recipe for a successful career?
I never planned to become CEO of the company. My working style has always been the same, so I do not think there is a big difference between being a director or a salesperson. We have a lot of people who started with sales and climbed the career ladder, because they share our values. Do not complicate things. Do the job well, do a little more and be a good colleague, and then you will succeed, if you want. But most importantly - do what you like. I never believed in career planning, the fact that you have to do something now, because it will be useful in the future. If you do not have enough time to do your work, you can not get a result.
What positions are held by women in your company?
Most of our 17 executives are women, and 40% of our 200 top executives are also women. We do not have top-down management, and I think the environment in our company encourages women who would not otherwise have achieved management careers. We help all people develop within the company, offering them horizontal movement - transfer to new countries or branches if they do not want to climb the career ladder.
Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, was a teenager, as was Microsoft creator Bill Gates. Higher education overrated?
It is important what kind of person you are. B IKEA we try not to use the same format for all. There is a risk that everyone will do the same thing. Instead, we try to find progressive people. We never look at what the area of education a person. If you learned something at the university - it's good, but on its own higher education does not really matter.
Some of our top managers have a university education, while others have developed their skills in the labor market.
Based on materials Metro.