Trond K. Johannessen
President & CEO, Hatteland Display
Tell us how you came to lead Hatteland Display.As so often in life, it was a coincidence that I got introduced to Hatteland Display in 2008 by a former colleague from McKinsey &Company that had contacts in the Board of Hatteland Display. One thing lead to another and in early 2009 I started as CEO and my former colleague as CFO.
It became clear to me very early that Hatteland Display had a very strong brand and a clear position as the market leader in maritime displays. This coupled with a very skilled organization with strong innovative capabilities constituted a strong platform for further development.
When you took over the President and CEO post what did you see as the company’s main strengths?
Weaknesses?Almost immediately after I joined Hatteland Display in February 2009 the financial crisis hit us with full force. We experienced a significant drop in both revenues and order intake. In this situation it became clear that the company had a few operational challenges that needed to be dealt with. We had to streamline our development processes and take a close look at the manufacturing processes to improve efficiencies.
The short term goal was to build a platform for growth and the long term goal to realize growth in both sales and profits. The way to make this happen was to further strengthen the number one position in the market by having the most innovative, best value and highest quality products in the market. In short we have delivered on these goals in an excellent way. We have experienced growth in a difficult market and our new SeriesX product platform is clearly shaping the future of marine displays and computers.
From the outset, what were your short and long term goals with the company, and to date, how has reality stacked up to goals?
Similarly, how have your goals changed?I would not say that our goals have changed. I believe we need to continue to build on the strong platform we have and continue to stay ahead of competition as technologies evolve. If we manage this we will continue to grow.
Can you give a brief overview of the company, its product and service offerings today?Hatteland Display is a leading manufacturer of type approved marine displays and panel computers for the professional market. Our customers are the major system integrators and OEMs of everything from bridge solutions to automation systems. Our products are on board merchant vessels, naval vessels and leisure boats. We supply customized hardware and do not have our own software systems except for necessary firmware and API software. One of our key strengths is to be able to cost effectively customize state-of-the-art hardware in relatively small volumes for customers. Hatteland Display is located on the west coast of Norway with sales offices around the world and a well established manufacturing and logistics network in Asia.
If you could pin it down to one or two topical items, what are the main drivers in the marine electronics display business today?On the market side one of the key drivers is the implementation of mandatory ECDIS for most vessel categories before 2018. This will lead to a massive installation of navigation technology on ships that have been using paper charts up until today. Some industry experts estimate that more than 80,000 new ECDIS systems will be delivered before 2018.
On the technology side our industry continues to adopt consumer technologies for professional maritime use. Displays with multi-touch technology are very popular currently and more and more software applications are released with support for this technology. We also see that panel computers are increasing in popularity. Where one used to have one computer and one display we now very often deliver a all in one panel computer instead.