Morning Briefing – Thursday, August 22

The Copenhagen Post’s daily digest of what the Danish press is reporting

Latest business fad: firing the CEO
The firing in recent weeks of chief executives from Vestas, Coop and NKT are a part of larger global trend that has seen 375 heads of the world’s 2,500 largest publicly traded companies lose their jobs, according to the consultancy firm Booz & Company. The figure is the highest since 2000. Other recent studies also seemed to confirm the trend by concluding that the length of time a company’s top executive stays in the job has declined. But that may not be such bad news for the company, according to Flemming Poulfelt of the Copenhagen Business School. His research has found that a chief executive’s performance declines the longer he has been with the company.  – Erhverv & Økonomi

Vestas flying high with investors
Wind turbine maker Vestas appears to be back in investors’ good graces after the company fired chief executive Ditlev Engel. The company, which is still seeking to regain its footing after a sharp decline in business during the recession, saw its shares rise by over five percent yesterday. Analysts and institutional investors said they were satisfied with the news that Anders Runevad would take over at the helm, and that his focus, according to chairman Bert Nordberg, would be on helping distance Vestas from its main rival, GE. Both companies have a 20 percent market share. When Engel became chief executive in 2005, Vestas had a market share of 35 percent. – Børsen

Opposition to government: repay excess taxes
Property owners assessed too much in tax should be reimbursed for the extra amount they have paid, according to a majority in parliament. Tax officials were heavily criticised yesterday for shoddy assessment practices that have seen as many as three out of four properties incorrectly valued since 2003. In some 41 percent of all assessments, the properties were overvalued. For many of the affected owners, the deadline for appealing a tax assessment has passed, but the parties calling for compensation to be paid, none of which are members of the minority coalition government, want people to be able to appeal, regardless of when the assessment took place. The tax minister, Holger K Nielsen (Socialistisk Folkeparti), said doing so would require a law change, and that he had set up a committee to look into the ministry’s options. – Berlingske

Jockeying before the storm
With less than three months until local elections, Copenhagen’s Socialdemokraterne have found themselves looking replace one of their top candidates. Anne Vang, the deputy mayor for child and youth affairs, announced yesterday she was stepping down to take a position at business college Niels Brock. Mayor Frank Jensen said Jesper Christensen, the highest ranking Socialdemokrat serving on the council, would be a “natural choice” to replace Vang. Christensen, who is the only other member of Socialdemokraterne sitting on the child and youth committee, said he was considering his options. A number of other party members said they would be interested in the position. – Politiken

Higher prices means fewer smokers
Raising the price of cigarettes further would dramatically and quickly reduce the number of smokers, a study from SIF, a public health research institute, has found. A million Danes smoke at least one cigarette a day, but that number would fall by 80,000 by 2016 if the price of tobacco were to be increased 50 percent in both 2014 and 2015, the study found. The increase would result in a pack of cigarettes costing 57 kroner. The Danish Heart Association, which sponsored the study, said it would welcome any effort to reduce smoking.  – DR Nyheder

  • Three new countries recognise Palestine as an independent state – Denmark holds back

    Three new countries recognise Palestine as an independent state – Denmark holds back

    Norway, Spain and Ireland have announced that they will formally recognise Palestine as a state. A furious Israel has recalled its envoys from Dublin, Oslo and Madrid for emergency consultations. Denmark says it will only recognise Palestine under a two-state solution.

  • Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Publisher Jesper Skeel and Korean BBQ restaurant chain owner Zen discuss the ups and downs of independent entrepreneurship and how to crack the Copenhagen market, from both an international and Danish perspective.

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    As popular protests of the Israeli offensive in Gaza erupt around the world and in the media, from university campuses to the streets of major cities, discord is escalating between demonstrators, the general public, authorities and politicians.

  • Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    A fire broke out at a Novo Nordisk site in Bagsværd on Wednesday morning. There have been no casualties, but the fire is “extensive and spreading”, and Novo’s administrative building “cannot be saved” say emergency services.

  • Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Just one day after the EU finally landed its New Pact on Migration and Asylum following four years of tough negotiations, a group of 15 member states, led by Denmark, issued a joint call for greater efforts to outsource migration policy and  prevent migrants from arriving at EU borders in the first place.

  • How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    Many of us Danes, despite being well-educated and well-travelled, often lack experience in navigating cultural differences at work. This can lead to ‘cultural bypassing’, where we believe we are at a level of enlightenment where we no longer are burdened by the risk of making cross-cultural mistakes. As their manager, you can help your Danish colleagues by acknowledging cultural differences in the workplace.