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Steffen Kragh turns 50

Egmont CEO Steffen Kragh was born the same year as the first live satellite transmission of TV took place and The Beatles could ‘invade’ America. The media world looks different now, as Steffen turns 50.

  • Steffen Kragh (photo: Steen Brogaard)

    Steffen Kragh (photo: Steen Brogaard)

In February, Steffen Kragh gathered his top 100 managers to the annual strategy conference. Managers from TV 2, Nordisk Film, cinemas, magazines and book publishers was met by the John Lennon song Power to the People and received a Go Pro-camera each.

The idea was typical for Steffen Kragh. Even if Egmont has increased operating profit and net worth fivefold during his 12 years in charge - so it is now Denmark’s by far largest media group with a 12 billion DKK revenue - Steffen Kragh is as keen on developing the business as ever.

Consumer’s media habits change rapidly these years. When consumers have the power and use their Go Pro-cameras to tell the story, media groups need to be at the forefront of mobile platforms and streaming on demand.

Close to a scandal

Already during his studies in Business Administration, Steffen Kragh searched for the future revenue streams in a job as finance analyst. The financial background earned him a four-year job at Hafnia Holding where he was as management assistant very close to one the largest Nordic financial scandals of the 80ies. His experience from such a turbulent time is one of the things he highlights as a priceless lesson. So is the fact, that he at an age of 28 was trusted with three different seats at external boards of directors.

From the Hafnia time, Steffen got to know Olav Grue who in 1992 tried to save the ailing company as Managing Director. When Olav was also member of the board at Egmont, he recommended Steffen Kragh for a job as internal consultant in 1993. The rest is history.

Steffen was offered the job as President and CEO at an age of 37.

In a recent internal interview, he was asked if 12 years is a long time to be CEO at the same company. His response: Egmont is absolutely not the same company and the media industry nothing like 2002.

Competitive with an eye for details

Steffen is working hard at staying competitive - also when it comes to non-Egmont matters. He runs marathon and Vasaloppet, has a decent golf handicap, a hunting permit and rides his racing bike.

As President and CEO, he has set the direction and created the profit necessary to make room for the creative forces - as seen in four Oscar nominations in four years, significant magazines and bestselling books and premium rights such as the Winter Olympics for TV 2. 

Steffen is the personification of orderliness, quality and content and he is the first one to introduce a new gadget or online magazine. He knows the competitors’ key figures by heart and he is usually right if he eyes a detail to be corrected. About this he says: “As a CEO I need to have both the strategic overview and an understanding of details. It’s in the details that you know why things are the way they are”.