CEO, Heise RegioConcept
Karsten Marquardsen has over 20 years of experience in the directory industry and graduated from the University of Duisburg with a degree in Economics.
In the 90’s he worked for Sutter Telefonbuchverlag in several positions and later became CEO of Das Örtliche Service- und Marketinggesellschaft, right when it was founded in 2002. Since 2007, he has been with the Heise Group in Hannover as CEO of Heise Media Services, responsible for all digital products for the Heise SME business.
In July 2019, he was appointed as CEO of several more Heise publishing companies and co-leads, along with Ansgar Heise, the SME division of Heise under the brand Heise RegioConcept.
Q. Is there anything that you try to do every day, or do you have a certain daily routine?
That’s a good question. I think, it has really changed since the pandemic, because working together with your colleagues is now all about this conference video stuff. I think it works quite well, I didn’t expect it, but it is a really exhausting way to do business the whole day, but it is something that will continue in the future. It works well for status meetings but brainstorming on video is a bit hard. In the end, hopefully, it will help us in changing our habits and learn to work together in a different way in the future.
Q. In the lockdown, some people started hobbies or did something new, what about you?
My wife and I started some craftsmanship work here in our house. We painted some of our furniture, we made them lighter and not brown anymore. We started to do some sports, and do more than we did before. On the weekends we go jogging in the morning. We have a beautiful lake not so far away, the Baldeneysee. It is really amazing in the morning when the sun goes up. We do a lot of jogging, and I really like being able to spend more time with the family, more than I could before. Our children during the first lockdown shifted to home-schooling, then they went back to school but now in the second lockdown, I think it will be home-schooling again. They use Microsoft Teams, and it works well. They are on vacation now and we will see what happens after January 10th.
Q. Do you remember what your first job was before you got your career going?
Yes, I had a job at a Glass Factory. I was standing at the factory assembly lines, and I had to put glasses into boxes, and this was a very hard job. It was also shift work. We had to work one week in the morning, starting from six to one and then the next week from one in the afternoon to nine at night. So, it was very hard getting regular sleep done and balance your daily business, but it was fascinating.
Another job I had was working for Loewensenf (famous German mustard). I was responsible for organizing the booths for trade fairs. So, I drove a big truck with all the mustard to a trade fair. I had an electronic ramp to load and unload and one day I pushed the wrong button, and it went in the wrong directions and all the glasses of mustard fell. What a mess. I had to go back to the Head of Marketing and tell him. I had to get an entirely new supply. Sounds funny today, but not then.
Q. If you had to have dinner with a famous person, alive or even someone who passed away already, who would that be?
That’s a good question. I think I would like to meet Steve Jobs. He is definitely one of the guys who changed our way of communicating. From desktop to i-phone he really helped us use computers and technology in a different way. He is such a fascinating guy.
Maybe another would be Bill Gates, because I think, he’s awesome. What he did by having everyone use a personal computer with windows is amazing. What I do not understand is why so many people have an issue with him now. I mean in Germany he has a bad position with those people at the Corona demonstrations. It’s not fair. He’s spending billions of dollars for organizations and doing so much good things and I would like to have dinner with him.
Q. Do you have a favorite comfort food?
Yes, it’s definitely beef Fillet, together with potatoes gratin. My father used to make this and I still have the recipe and cookbook from him. I also have the cookbook from you, I think you gave it to us for our wedding.
Q. Do you cook?
Yes, I like cooking very much and so does my son. We do it nearly every week together and it is really fun.
Q. If you had one message for our Siinda members, your colleagues, and partners what would that be?
I think it would be great if we would bring more young people to our Conferences. It would bring new ideas. Sometimes when I sit there and the conferences and look around, I think it would be great to have more young people here. Especially in the German Association. I think Siinda did a great job during the last years and the confidence has really changed. It’s more open-minded and you get new topics and new ideas, but especially for Germany we need to do this.
I would tell our member companies to bring more young people from their companies to conferences. Let them be part of the industry, otherwise, we will not get the talents we need, to create our future in the industry.