Otto Drakenberg is a Stockholm-based CEO and Board professional with a long track record leading large, complex business transformations in FMCG, consumer services, and consumer retail sectors. He is an expert in developing aggressive growth strategies, assembling strong teams, motivating organizations, and delivering results in line with broad, step-change programs, both commercially and organizationally. He has particular skills in building synergistic relationships with all essential stakeholders, from Board to management, line employees, unions, and communities. In addition, Drakenberg is a seasoned Board professional with a focus on linking high-level strategic insight with operational pragmatism to enhance management team performance and build shareholder value.
Otto Drakenberg’s thoughts on leadership, from the Norwegian book Underway vol 1.
Otto Drakenberg is currently Group CEO of the stockmarket-listed entertainment company Moment Group, as well as Chairman of Spendrups Brewery, Svegro, Sophie by Sophie, and the Swedish Fencing Federation. His past CEO assignments include Twilft, Svegro, Arcus-Gruppen, Carlsberg Sweden, and Goodyear Dunlop Nordic. Drakenberg has a notable sports background in Olympic fencing and international offshore racing.
BOARD CHAIRMAN – CURRENT ROLES
Spendrups – Revitalizing the long-term strategy and Board contribution
Svegro – Transforming the company into a branded goods company
Sophie by Sophie – Building a profitable branded e-commerce company
Swedish Fencing – Establishing and driving a long-term 2028 Vision
Swedish National Television SVT News: Chairman of Swedish Fencing Federation sharply criticizes the National Sports Confederation (2021-05-25)
Swedish Fencing Federation: “Achieving the Seemingly Impossible” (2017-03-05)
TRANSFORMATION LEADER – CURRENT AND PAST ROLES
Moment Group, 2020 – 2021
Drakenberg served during 2020-2021 as the Group CEO for stockmarket-listed entertainment concern Moment Group, the Swedish market leader in the entertainment and experience industry. The assignment: sustain the company through the Corona crisis and streamline the Group to achieve longer-term profitability. By the conclusion of 2020, the Group had averted an acute liquidity crisis brought on by the devastating economic effects of the Swedish authorities’ response to Corona, successfully refinancing its debt and gaining Board approval for new strategic direction, which constitutes a strong foundation for new growth.
Swedish business newspaper Dagens Industri: “Börskoll – Friday Bonanza at the Stockholm Stock Exchange” (2021-02-21)
Swedish news magazine Bulletin: “Moment Group’s Otto Drakenberg: ‘Too little and Too Late’” (2021-01-08)
Swedish national television SVT News: “The Entertainment Company Moment Group Is Saved from Bankruptcy” (2020-11-30)
Moment Group, press release: “Martin du Hane appointed as new Group CEO for Moment Group” (2020-03-22)
During the period 2019 – 2020, Drakenberg worked as chairman and then CEO of the Swedish retail chain Twilfit. The assignment: develop and implement a strategy to return the company to profitability and re-establish financial control and transparency. Following an updated strategy and a corporate reorganization, Twilfit was reconstructed and sold to the Danish clothing company Change in April 2020.
Swedish fashion retail industry magazine Habit: “Twilfit on Their New Owners: ‘They Understand Our Niche’” (2020-02-13)
Swedish retail web site Market: “Four Critical Issues – That’s Why Twilfit Will Have New Owners: ‘The Best Thing That Could Happen’” (2020-02-12)
Swedish business newspaper Dagens Industri: “Twilfit Acquired – Reconstruction Completed Come Spring” (2020-02-12)
Drakenberg served as CEO 2018-2019, and since then as Chairman, of Sweden’s largest vegetable producer Svegro. The assignment: develop and run a broad, aggressive change program to restore profitability and build the right management team. The all-encompassing transformation process has led to six-fold earnings growth, and a strong management team is in place to drive the full growth plan.
In the years 2016-2017, Drakenberg worked as Northern Europe General Manager and member of the Group Management for the service company Selecta, which is the market leader in beverage and meal solutions in workplaces and public spaces. The assignment: restructure Swedish operations with a new financing model to regain profit growth, divest the Baltic operations, and participate in the acquisition of the market leader Pelican Rouge.
In 2011-2015, Otto Drakenberg was CEO of Arcus-Gruppen, one of the Nordic region’s largest wine and spirits companies. The assignment: transform Arcus from a local Norwegian player into a top-class Nordic player in the wine and spirits industry. The owner, private equity company Ratos, listed Arcus on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2016 and achieved an average annual return, IRR of 30% and a money multiple of 5.6x, making Arcus one of the most successful holdings in Ratos’ history.
Arcus-Gruppen: Fifteenth year in a row with increased turnover and a new all time high result (2014-02-24)
Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet: “Wine & Spirits To the Stock Exchange?” (2014-02-10)
Half -year result, web page of Swedish PE conglomerate Ratos: “Arcus-Gruppen Achieved an Annual Turnover of More than 200 M Euro” (2013-08-15)
Swedish bank Avanza’s newsletter Placera: Otto Drakenberg’s resignation from CEO position at Arcus-Gruppen (2015-05-05)
From 2007 to 2010, Otto Drakenberg was CEO of Carlsberg Sweden, at that time the largest beverage company in Sweden. Under Drakenberg’s leadership, the company made record results, increased employee engagement from worst in the Carlsberg Group internationally to the top three and increased operating margin by 50%.
Swedish daily newspaper Hallands Nyheter: “Best Year Ever for Carlsberg Sweden” (2010-03-02)
Swedish retail newspaper Fri Köpenskap: “Carlsberg Increases Profits – Strong Performance in Sweden” (2010-02-26)
Carlsberg Sweden: Record Results for Carlsberg Sweden (2010-02-15)
Goodyear Dunlop Nordic
Otto Drakenberg worked as General Manager of Goodyear Dunlop Nordic from 2004 to 2007, implementing a wide-ranging topline and cost turnaround program that resulted in healthy profit margins after years of unprofitability.
Drakenberg worked in marketing management at Procter & Gamble 1996-2000, the last years as Nordic brand manager; and as export manager at the Danish House of Prince International between 2002-2003.
Otto Drakenberg received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stockholm University in 1992 and pursued advanced studies in economics there 1992-1994. After his studies, Otto Drakenberg pursued an internship at the UN-organ UNCTAD in Geneva.
INTERNATIONAL SPORT ACHIEVEMENTS
Otto Drakenberg was team captain for the Swedish national fencing team 1988-89. Together with the national team, Drakenberg came in fourth place in the 1989 World Championships, and in eighth place in the 1988 Olympics. He won the silver medal in the European Cup in team fencing in 1994. He became Nordic Champion in 1990 and won the Swedish Championships five times during the years 1987-1993. 1988 he was appointed Swedish fencer-of-the-year and in 1994 he was awarded the prize for the best international achievement in connection with the second place in the European Cup.
Otto Drakenberg won second place in the 1995 Fastnet Race as skipper and helmsman on Anahita, and also wrote a book about the venture, With Anahita Around Fastnet Rock. In 1992 he participated as the only Swede in the Round Britain & Ireland Race and came second with the French boat Bon Vouloir. He came fifth in the World Championships in 1999 and won the Swedish Championships with the boat Investor. He has also won his class in the Round Gotland Race three times with Anahita.