Meet Pernille Erenbjerg

17.05.2021, Luxembourg, RTL Group

Pernille Erenbjerg was appointed a new independent non-executive director of RTL Group’s Board of Directors on 28 April 2021. In an exclusive interview, she discusses future opportunities for RTL Group, topics she will bring to the Board, and what inspires her in her work life.

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Women's Board Award tildeles en kvinde i dansk erhvervsliv, der er på vej mod bestyrelsestopposter. Her til eftermiddag...

Publicerat av Det danske kongehus Fredag 27 januari 2017

Pernille Erenbjerg received the Women’s Board Award from the Danish Crown Princess Mary in 2017. 

Congratulations on your appointment to RTL Group’s Board of Directors. You have a proven track record as a board member of companies across various industries. What do you find most interesting about joining the board of RTL Group?

Pernille Erenbjerg: I think the media industry in general is a very interesting space to operate in, we have such a profound impact on people’s lives – their thoughts, their dreams and their aspirations.

RTL Group, in particular, sits at a great intersection of creativity and technology, with control of the full value chain from creatives to customers. What’s there not to like!

You have previously held several positions at Denmark’s biggest telecommunications company, TDC Group, including Group CEO and President. How will your extensive experience and knowledge of the telecoms business affect your work as an independent Board member at RTL Group?

Pernille: I had the privilege of running and developing a company in the tech/telco/cableco space during a time when traditional business models came under intense pressure from streaming services and the global tech giants. To stay relevant, we had to re-invent our business, particularly TV distribution. In order to do that, we needed to form new partnerships and embrace new technology, to provide the content our customers wanted, in the way they wanted to consume it.

Doing that has given me a broad understanding of the entire eco-system, a deep understanding of what shapes customers' wants, and a firm belief that technology will continue to create opportunities to serve our customers better.

What future opportunities and challenges do you see in the media, content, and digital sector, as well as for RTL Group in particular?

Pernille: We have seen a decade of the proliferation of streaming services, and to some extent these have co-existed with traditional distribution models. This has been a golden age for content and IP generation, we have never had more access to content. As the streaming markets mature, I think we will see customers focus more on the quality of content and ease of use. As customers, we do not want to navigate several streaming services with endless content offers, as well as traditional TV. We want individual solutions, with relevant and inspiring content, and some of us want more personalised ads.

RTL Group is very well positioned to benefit from these opportunities, by continuing to embrace the technology that will allow us to continue to create high quality global IP and serve our customers well in the future.

One of the interesting trends we have seen during the pandemic is that online gaming has exploded and moved firmly – from being a phenomenon for teenage boys sitting in their parents’ basements, into the living rooms. This raises the question of how this may affect the usage and willingness to pay for TV and streaming over time, and whether new formats will be developed where we might see more crossovers between gaming and traditional entertainment, or perhaps into learning.

Are there any specific topics that you are looking forward to raising in the Board meetings?

Pernille: I am always looking for ways to challenge ourselves to do better in all aspects of the business, whether it is in technology, in branding, in content or any other area – and I am sure this view is shared by my fellow directors and firmly included on the board agendas already.

Media has a huge impact on people’s lives – both for good and bad – and there is an opportunity for the industry to use this force for good. Clearly RTL Group has already embraced this, as expressed in our values, and I look forward to discussing how we can continue to challenge ourselves to do more to ensure that diversity and inclusion is promoted throughout the value chain, from creatives through production, marketing and distribution.

For me, the focus on the environment and the broader Environmental, Social and Governance agenda is very important, and something I bring to every company I work with – something that may have emerged from my Scandinavian upbringing.

What inspires you in your work life?

Pernille: I have always enjoyed working with talented and passionate people towards a goal. I thrive on challenges, and believe that unless you are willing to leave your comfort zone, you will not be able to learn and grow.

The ultimate inspiration is to make life better for other people through the products and services we produce. In the case of RTL Group, this connection is easy to make and expressed very well through our values.

How do you unwind after a busy day at work?

Pernille: I go for a run. And if I am lucky, our children (who are in their early twenties), will come by for dinner – that is the perfect evening for me.

What has been the biggest lesson for you throughout your career?

Pernille: There have been so many, and thankfully I am still learning. Understanding the profound impact of clear communications is one. You cannot expect people to follow you if you are not able to explain what the journey is about – and you have to win people's hearts and minds to be able to move forward. Because my second lesson learned is: It is all about the people! Even with technology in focus, it is the people, passionate employees and leaders, that make the difference!

 

Pernille Erenbjerg
Pernille Erenbjerg, born in 1967, was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director to RTL Group’s Board of Directors on 28 April 2021.

Pernille Erenbjerg graduated from the Copenhagen Business School and is a Certified Public Accountant. She started her career at Arthur Andersen as Auditor and Consultant and later joined Deloitte as Equity Partner.  

From 2003 to 2018, Pernille Erenbjerg held several positions at Denmark’s largest telecommunications company, TDC Group, most recently as Group CEO and President, and before that as Group CFO and Deputy CEO.

Today, including RTL Group, she serves as Non-Executive Director for four listed companies. At Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT), a Nordic-based media company, she is a member of the Board and Member of the Audit Committee. At Millicom, a cable and mobile operator, she is Deputy Chair of the Board and Chair of the Remuneration Committee. At Genmab, a biotech company, she is Deputy Chair of the Board, Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee, and member of the Nomination and Corporate Governance Committee. 

Her previous Non-Executive Directorships has been at Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordics, DFDS, a listed Danish shipping and logistics company, and the Royal Danish Theatre.

Pernille Erenbjerg is an Adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School, from where she holds a Master of Science in Economics.

 

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