HR Tech company Benify rounds off 2019 with the recruitment of Kjersti Thornéus, former Director of Product Management at Schibsted, as its new CPO. With their latest acquisition, Benify continues to strengthen its position in its home market of Sweden, while expanding internationally.
On taking the step from the media industry to HR tech, Thornéus says:
It feels great to come to a tech company after having worked at one company for a long time, split between media and tech. At Benify, the software is the product itself.
Benify's CEO Joakim Alm emphasises that it was the personal characteristics of Thornéus, rather than her media industry background, that made his decision:
Benify wanted a CPO who is both commercial and who constantly looks for and develops the value of our product, for employers and employees. This is something Kjersti displayed already during our first conversation - she has both the experience and the passion.
In her role as Chief Product Officer at Benify, Thornéus will be responsible for Product Management, Marketplace, Marketing & Communications and UX. She sees this breadth of responsibility as an advantage to her appointment:
What sold me from the beginning was the opportunity to work both commercially with the marketing of Benify's product and with the product development itself. Previously, I switched between both the marketing and tech side, which I like equally. Here, at Benify, I don't have to choose.
Thornéus also sees significant advantages to bringing marketing, product development and UX together under the same roof:
All three of these areas are about understanding the needs of the client and the user and how to solve their problems. Marketing has also become more and more expensive. I think having all three areas under the same roof and allowing them to converge, favours companies today.
Thornéus assumes her new role at a time when Benify is focusing on continuing to grow and develop its platform in Sweden, while, at the same time, rapidly growing internationally:
Today, one in five people working in Sweden use our platform, which, of course, is considerable, but it also means there’s still 80 per cent of the market left. It’s important for us to continue to develop our platform and create value for the customers we have, while continuing to grow. We are contracted to have our product in place in more than 75 countries by the end of 2020. As CPO, Kjersti has a key role in the continued development of our company, Alm concludes.
Benify is a fast-growing, independent HR tech leader helping companies around the world manage their employee benefits offering and help strengthen their employer brand. With over 1,500 customers and over a million users around the world, Benify’s award-winning, cloud-based solution has reinvented the way modern employers engage with their employees. Formed in 2004, Benify, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, operates globally and currently employees 400 people across 10 international offices. For more information, visit www.benify.com