F15 Graduate

Bob Den Hartog

Born in the Netherlands Bob has spent the majority of his life abroad having worked and studied in 9 countries incl. 14 years in Thailand & the Philippines. This background in Asia has led Bob to his role now after the F15 programme in Beijing, China where he is an Key Account Manager and also leads private label new customer acquisitions.

When and how did you join Arla and what is your position now? 
I joined Arla Foods in 2015 and have since had the opportunity to work in some of our most exciting busi-ness units. My first rotation was in our Business Development team in Dubai which saw me exploring the potential of Arla Foods entering Iran after the lifting of sanctions and running the business case for a lo-cal production set-up in Egypt. After this I got the chance to work in our Corporate Strategy Execution Office in our Viby HQ working with strategy projects such as our European White Milk and our Digital strategies. To complement these strategic roles the F15 program presented me with the chance to re-turn ‘home’ to Asia within our sales team here in China for my final rotation handling some of our big key accounts such as Walmart, METRO and TESCO; and I stayed in this role after! It’s not every day that you get to handle ~25 mEUR of revenue/year so I was hooked. 

How has the F15® programme helped you to grow your career? 
I’ve always known that I enjoy working with strategy and am now building my sales competencies – the combination of which likely lays the foundation for a very exciting career. The F15 programme has pre-sented me with the amazing opportunities to make impact where our company needs it most, but in a way that clearly aligned with my own ambitions. Not only has the programme put me into roles which someone at my age or experience arguably would not be in; but having the 3 rotations means my stake-holder network within Arla Foods is broad which is a great plus in getting things done. 

What has been your biggest challenge so far? 
Definitely recruiting a new customer here in China – never had I ever had to learn everything from con-tract negotiation to shipping incoterms to product specifications & documentation so fast. With many setbacks, and lots of learnings, with the support from my team and our diary we launched this customer in record time; a big personal and Arla win! 

What’s your next step? 
A tough question – but I have no doubt the next years will be exciting (and may lead me to places I don’t even expect)

Exciting opportunities

F15® Graduate Programme

As a F15 Graduate you are expected to become one of Arla's future leaders and help shape our business moving forward. The F15® Graduate Programme is a fast-track leadership programme that includes three different eight-month rotations.

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