CEO, FCR Media and Siinda Board Chair
Jon has worked in the local search-industry for more than 30 years and has held numerous executive positions throughout Europe including Norway, Finland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Austria, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Estonia, Slovakia, Ireland and Uruguay. Currently, he is CEO of FCR Media Belgium and of FCR Media Group, which has offices in Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Romania. Since the acquisition of Youvia in March 2022, he has also been Head of Supervisory Board of Youvia B.V.
Q. What is something you try to do every day?
Every day, I look up our sales and cash numbers, and write it into my diary keeping track of them.
Q. Are you a morning person?
No, I’m not a morning person, I rather sleep longer when I can, but I’m actually getting up around eight every day. It’s how I get into a routine in this home office environment. I research sales, take some screenshots and put them into an electronic diary.
Q. What have you missed the most during the pandemic?
Looking into a computer or sitting in an office every day – it’s a bit tiring.So, you also need to take care of your body during these times. Somewhere during the day, I try to get fresh air, exercise for over an hour.
Q. What kind of hobbies do you have, which are related to exercise?
A walk, or I go for a mountain bike or a racing bike. Very seldom I run in the winter. I go cross-country skiing and normal skiing. Since I’m Scandinavian, I love to do cross-country skiing. But I also normally do Alpine skiing not more than 3, four weeks a year.
Q. Where do you go skiing?
We go to a place called Obertauern in Austria and have been going there for 20 years. It’s a nice village with very nice local hotels, a small ski area, not a lot to do but ski. And no drunken Scandinavians, I can say that with knowledge.
Q. Do you do some cross-country skiing still or is it just downhill?
I do cross-country skiing every year a bit, of course, the facilities in Austria are not so optimal but I get 200 kilometers a year, maybe.
Q. What are your other hobbies?
In the springtime or the summer I like biking. I’ll bike during my coffee break. I didn’t bike yesterday, but the day before.When I’m in Antwerp, where our offices are, most of the time, there are no restaurants, nothing to do so I go biking in the evening. I bike for one or two hours. It is something to do other than looking into a computer screen or a TV. It’s a little bit healthier than sitting at home.
Q. During the pandemic, is there something new that you started to do?
No, I would not say that I did something new but what I stopped doing. I would say I’ve stopped traveling on vacation. So let me say it’s more like what I stopped doing, but also I started something.
Although I started to do something, writing a diary electronically, but now I have done it and I am not doing it anymore, I actually think it is about 225 days long, I started in the lockdown, but I am through.
Q. If you were writing your autobiography what would be the title?
I think something about costs in the title or something with re-organization in the title, that is what I am known for and have done the last 10 years.
Q. What was your first job out of university or your first non-desk job?
Yeah I was, when I started I was like an accountant and a taxi driver in Oslo on the weekends. That’s a good one. It’s a good way for making a living when you are a student.
You would make money on one weekend and then spend the money the next weekend. So that was an easy life at that time.
Q. Your reputation is well known in this industry, but if you had to have another profession, something else you ever wanted to do, what would that be?
Running a restaurant or a coffee shop or something like that.
No, I do not like to cook. I like to serve people and talk to people and make them happy. Take their orders and be the server.
Q. Do you have a favourite food or meal?
It depends on the time of year but I like this month – in Germany it is called St. Martin and we eat goose. You can only get it in November in Austria.
I find that delicious, or it can be crispy duck, that’s also good.
Q. If you had one message for Siinda members, partners and colleagues, what would it be?
We have to stay positive, find something you like to do, find a way to engage with people digitally. We are missing social interaction and it is soon going to be a year. It is so long and it starts to eat up your energy.
But employee motivation is important; put a lot of effort into internal communication. It’s not about making motivational speeches, but it’s about informing people, telling them what’s going on, and try to focus on the positive side of things.
Stop nagging about the situation, yes it’s bad but we see enough of that on TV.
Focus on good stories from the previous week, and you finally get people to talk. Meet people digitally and share, so that people actively support each other in their job.
Keep positive and stay focused.