Grundfos: Having turned 75, Niels Due Jensen steps down as Chairman of the Board
Niels Due Jensen, long-term Group President and Chairman of the Board of Grundfos, turned 75 recently on the 8th of March, and took the opportunity to withdraw himself from the position as Chairman of the Board of the primary owner of Grundfos, the Poul Due Jensen Foundation.
With his departure, the position of Chairman of the Board of the Poul Due Jensen Foundation will be filled by Jens Bager, the former CEO of ALK Abelló. Additionally, Annette Due Jensen, Niels Due Jensen’s daughter, will step into the board of the foundation.
The son of Poul Due Jensen, who established the company in 1945, Grundfos was a substantial part of Niels Due Jensen’s life. From early childhood, Niels developed an interest in the work, which took place in the smithy, as well as the complex engineering trade. In 1960, he got an apprentie3ship as a machine tool worker at Grundfos, and after having served in the military, he studied to become a machining engineer at Aarhus Teknikum. Soon after, he worked as an engineer at Danfoss for a few years before returning to Bjerringbro and Grundfos in 1974, rejoining as a development engineer, and later on, becoming 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 to 2011, he was Chairman of the Board of Grundfos, and from 2011 to the present, Chairman of the Board of the Poul Due Jensen Foundation, the primary owner of Grundfos.
“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’s largest pump company and the technological leader of the industry,” Mads Nipper, Group President and CEO, said. “In addition, he inherited his father’s ability to understand and know 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 to understand the business, his intuitive understanding of technology, and not least, his detailed knowledge of all our prospects 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.”
“From time to time during my cooperation with Niels, I’ve been surprised by his unmatched ability to see future options before everyone else,” Jens Moberg, Chairman of the Board of Grundfos, explained. “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 responsibility in the local communities, as well as 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.”
“Things are good at Grundfos, and I think that the softer values are also being taken good care of, so I feel comfortable about handing over the baton,” Niels Due Jensen clarified. “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 is running as it should.”