After 6 years at Desso, first 5 ½ years as CEO and later
½ year as Chairman of the company and the Supervisory Board, Stef
Kranendijk has decided to leave Desso to pursue other options via
which he will be better able to help implement the Circular
Economy* in other Industry Sectors.
Stef Kranendijk joined Desso on April 2, 2007 as co-owner and CEO and since then has been instrumental in repositioning Desso as one of the leading carpet companies in Europe by implementing a clear and successful innovation strategy focused on creative design, functionality and sustainability leading to significant growth of the company. In the process, Stef has been a vocal and public advocate of transforming the linear economy into a circular one, the Cradle to Cradle® approach, and has put Desso on an irreversible path to sustainable entrepreneurship.
Following this transformation and the completion of the leadership transition to the new CEO, Alexander Collot d'Escury, Stef has decided to leave Desso. Stef intends to continue focusing on implementing profitable strategies at other companies based on corporate social responsibility, in particular promoting the Circular Economy*. This move is in parallel to Stef's recent election as Chairman of De Groene Zaak, a group of more than 155 companies that are leaders in bringing sustainability in the centre of their business strategy given that this also leads to better financial results.
Eric-Joost Ernst, who will succeed Stef as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, comments:"The Supervisory Board and the Executive Board are very grateful for Stef's huge contribution to Desso over the past six years. We will miss his strategic insight, his inspiration, his focus on results, commercial drive and passion for the environment, but his conceptions will live on in Desso's strategy. We wish Stef all the best for the future."
Stef Kranendijk comments: "I have had a fantastic, transformational, time at Desso and am highly impressed with the quality of the people at Desso and the speed by which the whole organization was able to transform itself from a regular carpet and artificial grass manufacturer to a highly innovative and successful company with a focus on innovation, geographical expansion and communication. Innovation has been driven by Creativity to foster superior design, Functionality to improve quality of life and Cradle to Cradle® to rethink design, improve health and promote the circular economy*. I know I leave Desso in excellent leadership hands with Alexander Collot d'Escury as CEO and Tom Francken as CFO with their hands on the steering wheel. I wish all the people who I worked with so well a great future and I will miss them."
Stef has become a thought leader on the effectiveness of Cradle to Cradle® in turning the linear economy in a circular economy* speaking at many occasions to CEO's and government leaders (eg. most recently at The World Economic Forum in Davos), to architects, end users and opinion leaders. Stef has also regularly presented the 'Desso Case' to students at executive programs at the London Business School, Cranfield University, Exeter University, IMD Lausanne, Rotterdam School of Management and at many other occasions, thereby making the point that companies putting sustainability/Cradle to Cradle® at the heart of their business strategy will prosper.
Next to his Chairmanship of De Groene Zaak, Stef is also Chairman of the Amsterdam Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum), Member of the Board of the Rotterdam Sustainability Initiative financing the Cradle to Cradle® Chair at Rotterdam School of Management, Member of the Board of the Ubbo Emmius Fund at the University of Groningen and is active in several other Boards.
Note: * We currently live in a linear economy where products turn into waste for landfill or incineration (to burn the waste). In the circular economy we strive to design and make products of pure materials and in such a way that they are easy to disassemble after use. This way the components and its raw materials can be re-used again and again.