The long-term Group President and Chairman of the Board of Grundfos, Niels Due Jensen, turns 75 on March 8, and takes this opportunity to withdraw himself from the position as Chairman of the Board of the primary owner of Grundfos, the Poul Due Jensen Foundation.
Grundfos has been a substantial part of his entire life, and he has made significant impressions in the company, the industry, and the society alike. It was his father, Poul Due Jensen, who established Grundfos back in 1945. From early childhood, Niels developed an interest in the work, which took place in the smithy, and in the complex engineering trade. In 1960, he got an apprenticeship as a machine tool worker at Grundfos, and after having served in the military, he studied to become a machining engineer at Aarhus Teknikum. After that, he worked as an engineer at Danfoss for a few years, and returned to Bjerringbro and Grundfos in 1974, rejoining as development engineer, and later on director.
When Poul Due Jensen passed away in 1977, Niels Due Jensen assumed the overall leadership of the Group, and stayed as Group President and CEO until 2003. From 2003-2011, he was Chairman of the Board of Grundfos, and from 2011 until present Chairman of the Board of the Poul Due Jensen Foundation, the primary owner of Grundfos. In addition to the positions of trust at Grundfos, he has taken his part in a fair share of board-work during the years, among others in the Federation of Danish Industries, DUBA B8, The Danish Export Council, and the Business Council for Sustainable Development.
“Niels is unique. He often refers to his father’s many ideas and visions for Grundfos, but Niels is the one who made Grundfos the world largest pump company and the technological leader of the industry. In addition, he inherited his father’s ability of understanding and knowing the customers, making us able to stay one step ahead of our competitors. When I today have the privilege of holding Niels’ former position, I can with my own eyes see, how large an influence he has had, and still has, in all corners of the company. And his ability of understanding the business, his intuitive understanding of technology, and not least his detailed knowledge of all our products is phenomenal. He has created inconceivably much on his own and with his staff. To me, he is one of the greatest icons in Danish industry,” says Group President and CEO of Grundfos, Mads Nipper.
“From time to time during my cooperation with Niels, I’ve been surprised by his unmatched ability of seeing future options before everyone else. That goes for his large bet on China before others noticed the potential of the country, his burning commitment to sustainability as a competitive differentiator, and his unique ability to take social on responsibility in the local communities, and include people with special needs. Niels is a fantastic leader with great many qualities and a one-of-a-kind ability to put them into play for the greater good – both for Grundfos and society in general,” explains Chairman of the Board of Grundfos, Jens Moberg.
The Grundfos Group today employs 19,200 people, consists of 83 companies in 56 countries and is the world’s largest in circulator pumps.
“Things are good at Grundfos, and I think that also the softer values are being taken good care of, so I feel comfortable about handing over the baton. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have done so much for the customers in collaboration with skilled, engaged and competent employees through more than five decades. Now, I will allow myself a little spare time, enjoy nature, the role as a grandfather, and maybe do a bit of travelling. I will still drop by Grundfos to make sure that everything runs as it should,” clarifies Niels Due Jensen.
Niels Due Jensen leaves the position as Chairman of the Board of the Poul Due Jensen Foundation to former CEO of ALK Abelló, Jens Bager. Niels Due Jensen’s daughter Annette Due Jensen steps into the board of the foundation.