CEO in South Eastern Europe

Els Loesberg moved to Bucharest, when she was appointed CEO of the cluster South Eastern Europe of Sanoma Magazines International. To be closer to the countries in ‘her’ region but also for managing the Romanian operations (a JV with Hearst) by herself.

“I felt the need to step into the mud again, as we say in Dutch. And”, with a smile, “ Romania was very muddy I can tell you”. In the years to follow she built new businesses, green fields and start ups, was responsible for acquisitions and the establishing of joint ventures, as well as a broad range of new magazines, product launches and brand related developments, both in print and digital.

“The countries were booming, the mid segment just woke up. For me it was an eye opener to use my professional skills in a totally different setting, at the beginning there was so much not. No marketing experience, no surveys, no organized distribution. You had to invent so many things and you never could forecast the outcome. Or rely on historic facts. The ink of the strategic plan was not even dry or the situation had already changed. You also had to deal with a Headquarter that was far away from the battlefield. I was kind of entrepreneur in a corporate setting”.