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“I’ve been waiting for the right match, so this is a dream come true.”

Milestone Systems' new CEO talks to Computerworld about his motivation for joining one of the world's leading VMS providers.

As of October 1, 2020, Thomas Jensen returns to Denmark as CEO of the fast-growing Danish IT company Milestone Systems. He has held several executive positions in companies in Denmark and abroad, among others as Head of Worldwide Channel Sales Strategy for HP Inc. in Palo Alto, California, and most recently as Executive Vice President at Bechtle, Europe’s largest B2B IT service provider. He has also held leadership positions in Vestas Wind Systems and Maersk Line. The change of job is a milestone for Thomas Jensen, as the CEO position at Milestone is his first CEO job.

“I’ve been considering a CEO position for a number of years, but I’ve been waiting for the right match. I believe I’ve found this now. It’s a huge change and a dream come true” explained Thomas Jensen.
Thomas Jensen takes over from CFO Lars Larsen, Milestone Systems, who has been interim CEO since former CEO Lars Thinggaard resigned in March 2020.

I’ve been considering a CEO position for a number of years, but I’ve been waiting for the right match. I believe I’ve found this now. It’s a huge change and a dream come true.

Why Thomas Jensen accepted the job
Milestone Systems offers an open and independent video management platform. In 2019, the company had a net revenue of DKK 1.03 billion, however, this was not the only reason why Thomas Jensen accepted the CEO position: “The match with Milestone Systems was just perfect for me: A people first approach, a strong culture, the leadership style, a long-term strategy and the will to make difference in a growth market.”

Thomas Jensen makes it clear that he wasn’t job-hunting when Milestone Systems offered him the position. He’s been based in Barcelona since 2018 as Executive Vice President at Bechtle: “I have an amazing job at Bechtle and I never considered moving on anytime soon. But when Milestone reached out to me about this job in a company with strong values and a solid strategic foundation with a fully partner-driven go-to-market model, I had no doubt. I never thought that this was the time to return to Denmark but getting to know more about the job, it became clear: I was going home.”

Continuing a successful strategy
Thomas Jensen does not intend to make ground-breaking changes any time soon: “I will continue a set strategy and help the company tackle challenges that society is facing,” said Thomas Jensen pointing to surveillance and data privacy. Moreover, stresses Thomas Jensen, Milestone Systems’ ambitions will not change: “We are a company with 23 offices globally and among the market-leaders within our industry. We will continue this growth journey.”

According to Lau Normann Jørgensen, Chairman, Milestone Group, Thomas Jensen has the strategic skills and experiences that Milestone was looking for. And the fact that Thomas Jensen is ‘relatively young as a CEO of billion kroner company” is not a problem. Thomas Jensen has managed people, who were older and more experienced than himself, and this has never been an issue, explains Thomas Jensen: “I’ve learned that the results of a team are the result of the work carried out by your employees, and not the other way around. The CEO and management do not deliver results, they set the direction, coach and motivate. What needs recognition is the unique competencies of the team members. This is what characterizes my leadership style.”

Thomas Jensen doesn’t necessarily regard his new job as a step upwards: “Saying that a career move like this is a step upwards indicates that it is above something else. I would rather call it a step inward, as I step in as a co-player. You don’t get very far as a leader if you don’t have a team who can deliver results.”

Read the original Computerworld article in Danish here