New Head of HR: Embracing the winds of change


Fifty-year-old Heidi Nykjaer Persson had not expected to join a mid-sized Danish company. Her international career has spanned global players such as AP Moller Maersk and Deloitte, and she has spent much of her life working across Asia and Europe. A closer look at NORDEN, though, and she was sold, ready to steer the company’s HR direction into the future.

“I really enjoy working with established companies, with a rich heritage, which are in transition,” Heidi says of why she chose to join NORDEN. “NORDEN has a tremendously exciting agenda at the moment and in order for the business to be able to deliver its results, I see HR as a vital component in getting many of the elements rooted in the organisation.”

The competitive edge

Similar to NORDEN itself, Heidi describes herself as somewhat traditional yet also modern. She is driven by passionate people and enjoys being present in the moment, open and accommodating, and works to ensure HR remains relevant and a partner for the company in its continued growth.

“I do not believe in doing HR for the sake of HR,” says Heidi. “HR has to be done for the sake of the business. It has to be a close collaboration, there has to be dialogue, and HR has to be there for both employees and managers.”

Heidi comes with a filled toolbox and with many years working as a consultant, also an analytical and structured approach, ensuring the end goal is always clearly in sight. With substantial change management experience, she is well suited to support NORDEN’s asset-light growth journey and digital transformation, where new ways of working and embracing new technologies will be key factors in furthering the company’s competitive edge.

The balanced individual

Heidi describes herself as happy and full of energy, where what you see really is what you get. She prefers straight talk with no hidden agendas and firmly believes that it is important for people to be given the space to unfold the disciplines they bring to NORDEN.

At home, Heidi’s twin 7-year-old boys are her top priority and keep her grounded. She believes it is important for a company to respect the balanced individual.

“It means so much to me to come to a company, which accepts that a woman such as myself can have a senior position, and also be a single mother of twin boys,” says Heidi. “Giving people space means they often become much better at pulling together and give back energy to the company.”

The emphasis on people and human potential are a good match with NORDEN’s continued development of the Soulship programme. Here, focus is on developing a collaborative and performance-driven culture within the company, where employees feel empowered to take responsibility, unleash their potential and drive results together.

After just a few weeks on the job, Heidi feels empowered to support the continued growth of the company, where she says the many kind, warm and ambitious people are key for this to even be possible.

“I have already met so many great people, people who dare to be different, support NORDEN’s DNA of having stood the test of time, yet also willing to embrace the new – and lead the transition to the NORDEN of tomorrow,” concludes Heidi.