Christian Lindskov Alsø, Fleet Manager of the Year 2015: Confessions of a Motor Man
Christian Lindskov Alsø had also something else to celebrate on 19 November, when he won the Fleet Manager of the Year Award: “It was our tenth anniversary! Fortunately, my wife Marie had agreed to meet me in Rome the weekend following the event”.
Family and work are the two most important things in Christian's life, so it's fortunate he could combine them both via the Fleet Europe Awards. In a way, he says, it felt a bit strange to be celebrated by the fleet industry. A native of the Danish island of Funen, Christian has an education in machine and tool manufacturing, and a background in procurement. Undeniably, he has a special bond with cars – in fact, anything on wheels that can go very, very fast.
“When I was young, I wanted to become a motorcycle mechanic, but my dad said no. So I studied as part of an apprenticeship to become an industrial technician, working with lathes, metal cutting machines and learned to assemble machines”, says Christian, who would soon experience the first of his many trots across the globe: “When I was 17, I was selected to study for a semester at a technical college in the U.S. That was in Minnesota, where I arrived on the 2nd of January, at -40°C, the coldest winter they had had for 10 years”. Even for a Dane, that's a bit chilly!
Christian got used to the cold, as well as the travel, for upon returning to Europe and completing his apprenticeship. He worked an on-site technician in northern Norway to learn and fund the engine repair of his second motorcycle. At 22, he was the youngest ever employee in his Danish machine development company to become head of workshop. “At that age, it's not easy to exert authority over colleagues who are much older than you”, he recalls. Two years later, he was promoted to technical manager, leading the workshop and an engineering team.
“Even though I approached work from a technical background, I became more and more interested in the business aspect. As the company grew, I got more involved in the procurement angles of the job.” That growing interest propelled him to Nokia. At 27, he was travelling in particular South East Asia and Eastern Europe as a mechanics sourcing manager. At 29, he was Senior Sourcing Manager for Nokia Tooling Technologies in UK.
In his early thirties, while on a ex-pat stint in New Zealand, Christian was headhunted by Vestas Wind Systems: “They had built a diverse global manufacturing foot-print, and now needed to implement a strategic procurement programme to match. Marie and I moved to Shanghai.” Shanghai is where the couple's daughter was born. Josefine, who is now seven, was joined after by August, now five and a half. August was born in the U.S. when Christian was working as Sourcing Director on setting up the Americas supply chain for Vestas Blades division.
Ducati 996 SPS
About five years ago, Christian came back to Denmark. Another headhunt brought him into his current role with ISS, the Copenhagen-based facility management and services giant.
Although his father may have got his way with respect to Christian's studies, he never lost his love for the motorcycle. “In all I've owned 25 motorcycles. My favourite still is the Ducati 996 SPS. I also used this bike to race on trackdays. I do still go for track races in my 125ccm gocart. In the garage is now a Ducati S2R Monster used for commuting and evening rides.” Christian has also room for his dream car, “but I'm still saving up for that one: the Porsche 911 4S. That one's been on my list for many, many years”.
Who knows? Perhaps when he wins another prize – or celebrates the next anniversary...
Image credit: Christian Lindskov Alsø, and Fleet Europe