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News 27 June 2022

Strong Danish roots in France

When Tour De France hits the Danish roads in the beginning of July, the French traditions surrounding the race will probably also be present. Denmark and France are two countries with a strong historical bond. Not only when it comes to the Royal Danish Family and their French spouses, but also when it comes to the LINAK history.

Peter Duch-Svenson Managing Director LINAK Denmark

LINAK® France was established in the late 90s with Danish Svend Lykke Larsen at the helm. In January 2000, the torch was passed on to Danish Peter Duch-Svenson, who then passed it on to Danish Verner Hansen in 2003, who has held the position as Managing Director ever since. Do you spot a pattern here…?

As you may have guessed, the French LINAK subsidiary has always been managed by Danes, which off course has brought a Danish touch to the culture of the company.

With Peter Duch-Svenson having spent time in France prior to his employment at LINAK, he knew the French culture and was also able to speak French. Still, he chose to take the Scandinavian management style with him to France, which took some time to get used to for the employees;

“In Denmark we have a tradition of delegating the tasks to the employees, who have the best knowledge to solve them – and we also give them the responsibility for that task. A tendency which is not that common in France. However, I experienced that the employees adapted well to the Scandinavian management style”, Peter Duch-Svenson says, and continues,

“Generally, I would say that French people are more formal. Therefore, it was very clear that they needed to get used to a slightly flatter structure between employees and management, than they were used to.”

When Verner took over in 2003, he came from KEW/ALTOs French sales company, and before that he had been with LEGO’s French subsidiary. So he came with great experience of working for Danish companies in France. Verner has lived in France for many years with his French wife, and he is therefore also very aware of the difference between French and Danish mindsets. As he says;

“Generally, French people are more individual thinking than Danes. The French individualism is very strong, and they are always determined to solve their tasks in the best possible way. You could say that the Danes have a stronger team spirit – and it is basically a matter of finding the right balance and mix.”

Today Peter is back in Denmark, where he is working as Managing Director for LINAK Danmark. Verner is still going strong in France, and does not have any plans of moving back to Denmark;

Verner Bek Hansen Managing Director LINAK FranceVerner Hansen, Managing Director of LINAK France

“My French wife is fond of Denmark, and she would love to live in Denmark again. We stayed in Denmark for a period of 6 years, where she taught French in evening classes. It cannot be ruled out that we would move back to Denmark at some point, but for now we are happy in France”, he says.

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