In 2013, Gunilla Herlitz saw publishing powerhouse Bonnier AB launch its Bonnier News branch and was asked to head the newly formed business, which comprises four newspapers and Bonniers printing group. With this added responsibility, Gunilla has handed over the role of Dagens Nyheters editor-in-chief to Peter Wolodarski while retaining her position as the newspapers CEO.
Gunilla spoke with The CEO Magazine Europe to discuss her journey and the future of Swedens most circulated newspaper in light of the digital era.
I started out at the Stockholm School of Economics. It was not my dream to be working in the financial industry, but I thought Id try it. Before my last year at university, I worked at SEB during the summer. It was very boring and thought, I dont think I can do this, so during my last year at university, I started to go to a private school of journalism, Poppius Journalistskola, during the evening. When I finished university, I tried to get a job at a newspaper by combining my education in economics and journalism, and I started at Svenska Dagbladet. I was 23 at the time.
Ive been working in media from the beginning even though I didnt have a long, traditional education in journalism. At that time, at least in Sweden, the stock exchange became a huge thing in the 80s, and so did the demand for financial journalists. Before, no one cared if you knew anything about economics and business when writing about it, but at that time, it was good to be a financial journalist. After that I began to work at Dagens Industri. I worked as a reporter for many years and around 1999 I began to work as a news editor. From there, I became editor-in-chief and CEO of Dagens Industri in 2003 and then editor-in-chief and CEO of Dagens Nyheter in 2009.