Anders Lidbeck has always been interested in seeing ideas come to life. As a young student, he recalls penning a university thesis on implementation, and still lights up as he explains his philosophy that strategies are better instigated than spoken about. With such passion for actively pursuing ideas, it comes as no surprise that the Enea CEO has had a successful career, comprising several interesting appointments and a wealth of experience.
Anders Lidbeck knows how to grow a business
Reflecting on his start in the industry, Anders shares that he began as a trainee in the IT division of Nokia, leading to a stimulating technology-based career. “Nokia acquired Ericsson Information Systems, then 18 months after that it was acquired by ICL, so I was responsible for an ICL division,” he says. “Then I went on to become CEO of a company called Telelogic in 1998.”
With a view to taking the Swedish software development company public and expanding its global footprint, Anders spent the next 10 years growing the business until 90% of its employees were based outside Sweden. “After we took it public for 500 million Swedish [!krona!], we sold it to IBM for five billion Swedish [!krona!] in 2008,” he says.
Anders notes that leading the business through turbulent periods strengthened both the company and himself as a CEO. “I came into Telelogic during the IT boom at the end of the last millennium. Then when the planes flew into the Twin Towers, I was having a management meeting with people from the US. Those were pretty unstable times,” he says solemnly.
A clear passion for implementation
With travel becoming more difficult post 9/11, Anders planned to travel less in his next role. He became the chairman of three software companies, with Enea standing out. “In Sweden, you can’t be CEO and chairman. I was the chairman for Enea, but I had additional tasks to work on the company’s strategy, and it became natural that I also implement that strategy. I became an interim CEO in 2011, and continued as CEO from 2012. I like it; I’m both executive and operational,” he says.
Society is becoming connected, and we help you be a part of that.
Having spent months as Enea’s chairman, Anders says he found that there was some distance between the board and the executive management. “I have a real interest in implementing the strategy and making sure it happens. I’m not so impressed with talking; I’m impressed with getting things implemented and making a difference,” he says.
With a clear passion for implementation, a growth mindset appears to come naturally to Anders. While Enea software is already used by up to three billion people each day through mobile and internet connections, he sees exciting change and growth inthe company’s future.
“We are at the very core of mobile transformation. Very few people know about us and the operating system at the centre of the products we have. The long- or medium-term strategy for the next five years is to capitalise on the position we have and to be part of the huge transformation I see happening in the telecommunication structure or networking side of the business,” he says.
Enea helps customers stay connected
While Enea’s biggest sector is telecom, or ‘networking’ as the company refers to it, Anders says it’s also involved in financial, consumer and medical solutions and services. “Our operating systems were developed in an industry where solid, real-time connection is everything. Now that’s being moved into different industries,” he explains.
Having just finalised Enea’s biggest acquisition to date – a French company called Qosmos – Anders’ role as CEO is set to involve further acquisitions, a focus on existing products and service capabilities, as well as an increase in efficiencies.
“We have a portfolio of existing products, which is clearly the focus. Training people in their different roles and trying not to confuse people with too many different roles is also important. We have offices from Tokyo to Santa Clara, California, so making that work requires discipline and operational efficiency.”
Anders continues to be excited by Enea’s provision of access and connection to the internet. “We have significant expertise to help people ‘cloudify’ their business or connect through a business. We’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s what we do. Society is becoming connected, and we help you be a part of that.”