- The interim leader took our finance department to a new level

When Reisegiganten needed a new CFO in the autumn of 2019, they brought in an interim manager while running a permanent hire recruitment process. It has proven to be a good investment.

Thursday 12 March was a tough day for the CEO of Reisegiganten, Roy Jacobsen. He was standing in his office watching the broadcast, when Norway's health minister, Bent Høie, shut down the country on live television:

– It was a strange experience. That day we had to send home 95 percent of our employees.

A plan to get through the Corona crisis

The next step was to make a plan for how to deal with the crisis. Here, interim manager Gisle Grave, who had been in the CFO role since November, became a critical resource.

– The first thing we did was take the company into a "freeze down," where vital parts are kept going at a minimum. Then we made a recovery plan for how to thaw the company again. Grave was central in this work, and we, therefore, extended his contract by three months.

Optimist for 2021

Despite Norwegians' travel plans being brought to a grinding halt due to Covid 19, Jacobsen is optimistic about the future.

– We were well prepared before Covid, so we will come out on the other end and start selling travel again if we stick to the plan. I doubt that it will happen in 2020, but we plan for a recovery from the first quarter of 2021. Hopefully, we will then have a vaccine available both in Scandinavia and in the countries we travel to, says Jacobsen.

Lifted the finance department to a new level

The interim assignment has now been completed, and a new CFO is in place. Roy Jacobsen is very pleased that the successor inherits a solid foundation with which to work.

– Gisle has performed strongly as CFO from day one and was given a wider range of tasks than any of us could anticipate. He has taken the finance department to a new level by simplifying the processes and clarifying them for the other employees in the department.

Interim management: – Ideal when you are pressed for time

When asked what he thinks of interim management as a business trend, he answers as follows:

– I think interim management can be an ideal solution given that you get the right person. When talking with Interimleder AS in the initial phase, they presented us with three candidates, who could all do a good job. Although interim management is more expensive than permanent employment, it is an excellent and flexible solution if you are pressed for time and need a specialist or manager profile, Jacobsen concludes.

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