February 3, 2023

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– I guess someone thought I hit too hard – E24

He has a past as a tough and feared financial manager. Now Brede Huser will motivate and inspire as he takes Flyr through the crisis.

published:

Some talk a lot and write long emails. I like writing emails in bullet format.

Former Flyr CFO Brede Huser takes a sip of coffee from an Ikea cup, while contemplating how he’s going to work as president. As a newly appointed managing director, that’s what he has to do – make time for in-person interviews, even though a few weeks ago he was given the responsibility of driving a company in a perfect storm.

In bullet points, similar to Hauser:

  • Flyr is struggling for profitability, and has had to cut routes and lay off employees.
  • They have put in place a financing plan, which gives the company access to up to NOK 700 million in new funds through March.
  • After the agreement was made, general manager Tonje Wikstrom Frislid resigned from the job.

Huser takes a visibly long sip from his cup of coffee as E24 once again tries to work out some details about the change of chief, and the exact time he’s been given to consider the offer to take the helm.

– There was a short period of reflection.

– How short?

– Cards.

– Did you sleep on it?

– Huh. There was a short period of reflection.

Did you take a sip of coffee before answering?

– I took a sip of coffee.

– But you didn’t drink a full cup?

– There was a short period of reflection.

– Big change

To continue in the spirit of Hauser: Here are the main points the new manager doesn’t want to talk about in this interview.

  • Departure of Tonje Wikstrom Frislid.
  • Why did you leave so suddenly?
  • How is his leadership style, versus hers.

– I’m here to talk about the future and about myself, says Hauser.

– OK. Was going from CFO to CEO a big change?

– Yes, it is, after all, the transition from a subject-oriented role to a more management-oriented one. It’s a big change.

– How do?

– I am here, Hauser says, referring to the interview situation.

– Did someone pay you to be here?

– No, not at all!

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You wouldn’t be the first CEO to come to an interview under the duress of a communications director.

– No, but it is a role in which I have to give more of myself, both externally and internally. there’s a difference.

– I heard you had to wear an ugly Christmas sweater yesterday?

– It’s part of the job, that too.

– Did you let her go when you were the CFO?

Director of Public Relations and Communications Lasse Sandaker Nielsen intervenes:

– At least you’d miss decorating the Christmas tree.

I found a whip on the desk

The houses always have the same number. There was no doubt what he was going to study while growing up in Gjerdrum in Viken – it had to be economics.

After completing his studies at BI, he was allowed to go to ‘the school’ in the Orkla system, specifically in Lilleborg. After gaining additional experience in IT systems, he became a consultant at EY, and was assigned to the then fledgling Norwegian airline.

After a permanent job in the aviation industry, he stayed in Norwegian for 19 years. First as a financial manager feared.

– This is to some extent the secret of making it in this industry, you have to have a low cost level. Then you have to love chasing costs, he says.

– So one morning I came to the office and there was a whip on my desk. Someone might have thought I might have flogged too harshly, or too much.

The whip was hung on the wall, but it was gone. There will be no frills in Flyr’s chief’s new office – after all, he’s sitting out in the open countryside. And he may have become more rounded on the edges on his way from CFO to increasingly more responsible during his time at Norwegian, and now at Flyr.

Hauser takes a long pause when asked to talk about his leadership development. He apologizes, stating that he is constantly scolded by his wife for speaking too slowly and too little.

Being a business manager also means creating results through others. It sounds very pretentious, but it’s all about motivation, creating positive energy.

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Was there something you had to practice?

– I wouldn’t say practice, but it’s something you discover and learn through experience.

– Isn’t this your strong point?

– No, now you are putting negative words in my mouth.

– Isn’t it negative, everyone should have strengths and weaknesses?

– Yes, maybe I found out that it is one of my strengths?

– yes?

– No, to put the words in your mouth.

– Well, I will not put words in your mouth: what are your strengths and weaknesses?

– I am an economist, and I have a very businesslike mind. After 20 years in the industry, I know all the levels very well, I have a good understanding of the industry, I know all the buttons you can turn on – whatever drives up costs and income. I see the big picture. I think this is one of my great strengths – outlook and insight.

Weaknesses, then?

Hauser turns to Sandaker-Nielsen and, laughing, sarcastically asks if it is really possible that he has weaknesses.

Pride Houser flanked by Public Relations and Communications Director Lasse Sandaker Nielsen in Flyer.

He jokingly suggests that job interview clichés are “too ambitious” and “impatience” before criticizing his boss. Sandiker Nielsen can say that Hauser is quite an introvert.

– I can say that the first impression, when you are an introvert, can be felt as a cross or disinterested one. But when you get to know him, this is not the case.

– That sounds terribly negative, Hosier protests.

– Many people think that introverts cannot become top managers, so here’s your chance to be a role model?

– Yes, but… I feel like my strength lies in a conference room with a slightly smaller group, preferably 20 people. In this role, I go from a conference room with 20 people to a stage in front of 450 people. It’s not something I’m afraid of, but it’s not normal for me to be the center of attention. I don’t have to stand alone on stage, I’m more interested in making the team up there, says Houser.

You will not criticize

In the period to March, perhaps the already strong aspects will be used more until Huser – Flyr implements the financing plan that has been put in place.

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Huser has also been a part of a lot of turmoil already, after nearly 20 years in the airline industry. What many would describe as angst-ridden chaos, Houser describes as “pacing and excitement.” He sleeps well at night.

– We must deliver what we said we would deliver, and when we do that, investors and the stock market will be satisfied. Internally, we will continue the open and honest dialogue. What we went through creates an incredibly good unit. Obviously we should have missed it, but we really have a feeling we have to prove that we can do it, it’s consistent at Flyr, says Houser.

He prefers not to talk much about the rivalry between Flyr and his former Norwegian employer. Hausser maintains that he had a great time in Norwegian, learning a lot from founder Bjorn Kjos’s ability to motivate and the ability to see solutions where others saw problems, and that quitting in Norwegian was something completely different then. in 2006.

And that investor and selection committee chairman in Norway Nils Fuldal as reported in DNwhich was bought into Flyr in order to ask a number of important questions at the company’s general meeting, will not delve into either of them.

– I don’t want to criticize the Norwegian. How Voldal chooses to act at the Flyr general meeting, you almost have to ask him. But he was very present at Flyr shows, yeah. He asked many questions.

– Maybe you still have friends in Norwegian, should you stop talking about work when you meet?

– It’s a good rule, yes.

– Did you lose any friends along the way?

– No.

– You’re not the angry type?

– Not angry, not long-tempered. But I can be very involved.

– Should he be useful in this industry?

– Mm, says Hauser, nodding his head.

– You must be so annoying to negotiate with?

– yes. The people on the other side of the table struggle to explain me.