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Invest in stronger HR capabilities, create global excellence centres and increase focus on accountability and performance

Scandinavian Tobacco Group’s markets are changing rapidly with new regulation and market trends. To stay ahead of the competition and position for growth, it has implemented a transformational programme to increase shareholder value.

If there is one word to describe why Marianne Rørslev Bock decided to join Scandinavian Tobacco Group, it’s “challenge”.

Bock became Chief Financial Officer in 2018 and was immediately part of the launch of the Fuelling the Growth initiative, a transformational which programme aims to increase shareholder value by raising earnings capabilities, driving efficiencies and stimulating market share growth.

“It’s a business that’s changing rapidly. For me, what’s interesting is the challenging environment with so many changes,” says Bock, who has enjoyed the experience of transformation in previous roles and joined the Group from Brødrene Hartmann, a global leader in packaging solutions.

“Fuelling the Growth is very important to ensure an overview and manage the organisation and business well, to understand the impact of regulation and make necessary commercial changes.”

“I want to be part of a winning team and this is about how Scandinavian Tobacco Group becomes a winning team.”

Hanne Berg
Chief Human Resources Officer

A Winning Team

To be the undisputed leader in a declining market, Scandinavian Tobacco Group has to put itself in the position to remain leader in cigars and tobacco, and to be able to grow; organically or through mergers and acquisitions.

Fuelling the Growth will make the company more agile by removing layers of management and there is now a maximum of seven between CEO and shop floor, whereas previously it could be up to 12. This makes it much easier to spread messages up and down the organisation, and experts in a field now take decisions and bring them to market much more efficiently.

That delayering has meant some positions have been made redundant, but it also frees up resources to invest in areas with more growth potential – such as France, where the Group has lost market share in the wake of regulatory changes, and now aims to expand again – and about 50 people across the global organisation have been promoted.

“We are always adapting to the markets we are in. Now we have a global operating model that delivers on that,” says Hanne Berg, Chief Human Resources Officer. “This programme is necessary, not something that’s just nice to do, and HR is enabling the agenda for where we want to go as a business.

“I want to be part of a winning team and this is about how Scandinavian Tobacco Group becomes a winning team.”

STG - Infographic


Fuelling the Growth is a comprehensive business programme, rather than something smaller that addresses only one area, Berg stresses. All divisions of the Group have a stake in it and an overall aim is to make the organisation more agile.

There is more flexibility for commercial teams through a reorganisation into four divisions and centralisation will strengthen the business, particularly regarding procurement and logistics, and support efforts against local competitors who may not have that backing. Furthermore, reducing production complexity will improve efficiency.

“We can guarantee that we will be better, faster and smarter in decision making, and allow people to try things out, fail fast and get better as we organise around capabilities,” Berg says.

The Executive Board has been expanded to nine members, with four representing commercial and a new position as Head of Strategy, which is in the process of being filled. This enables more strategic planning and a focus on having more commercial muscle on the ground, where it makes a difference to customers and hence the Group’s sales.

“With this programme, we are making our operations more transparent, so it is easier to see and assess what each part of the company is doing, and decisions can be taken faster,” says Bock. “And then we are making sure we are using the right people in the right positions, so they bring most value.”

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