12 episodes

In this podcast founding partner Alexandra Jankovich interviews CEOs, industry leaders and innovators about their companies and successes. Find inside stories from Heineken, Nestlé, Henkel and many more!

SparkOptimus | CEO stories SparkOptimus

    • Business

In this podcast founding partner Alexandra Jankovich interviews CEOs, industry leaders and innovators about their companies and successes. Find inside stories from Heineken, Nestlé, Henkel and many more!

    In conversation with CEO Herna Verhagen and CIO Jennifer Crites at PostNL about Diversity in leadership and using data and technology to create value for customers

    In conversation with CEO Herna Verhagen and CIO Jennifer Crites at PostNL about Diversity in leadership and using data and technology to create value for customers

    Join us for an exciting episode of our CEO stories series, as Alexandra Jankovich sits down with two remarkable leaders from PostNL: Herna Verhagen, one of the few women CEOs on the Dutch Stock Exchange, and Jennifer Crites, the first woman CIO on the Stock Exchange. In this exclusive interview, they delve into PostNL's remarkable digital transformation journey, their ambitious sustainability goals, and the invaluable lessons they've gained along the way.

    𝗞𝗲𝘆 𝘁𝗼𝗽𝗶𝗰𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄:
    • The transformation from a predominantly a mail company to an e-commerce logistics company
    • Offering PostNL customers value-based services through data
    • How to meet the constantly rising customer demands through technology
    • Why ESG is a crucial element in PostNL's strategy

    • 40 min
    In conversation with Prabha Parameswaran, Group President of Growth and Strategy at Colgate-Palmolive about digital transformations and sustainability initiatives

    In conversation with Prabha Parameswaran, Group President of Growth and Strategy at Colgate-Palmolive about digital transformations and sustainability initiatives

    Join us for another exciting episode in the CEO stories series, as SparkOptimus’ Co-Founder and Managing Partner Alexandra Jankovich sits down with Prabha Parameswaran, Group President of Growth and Strategy at Colgate-Palmolive, a values-driven Fortune 500 business executive with 25+ years track record of leading and growing businesses across emerging and developed markets.

    In this exclusive interview, the two seasoned leaders discuss the importance of being proactive in embracing digital transformation early on, how investing in enterprise-level upskilling while balancing local empowerment and centralizing digital capabilities unlocks team creativity and entrepreneurship and Colgate's ambitious sustainability goals like achieving zero carbon by 2030.

    𝗞𝗲𝘆 𝘁𝗼𝗽𝗶𝗰𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄:
    • The digital transformation journey Prabha led the company through in Europe
    • How Colgate's sustainability goals and initiatives, like recycled tubes and health programs, drive positive impact
    • Balancing local empowerment and centralizing digital capabilities unlocks team creativity and entrepreneurship

    • 36 min
    In conversation with CEO Carsten Knobel at Henkel about sustainability, purposeful growth and customer-centric digitalization

    In conversation with CEO Carsten Knobel at Henkel about sustainability, purposeful growth and customer-centric digitalization

    Since taking the helm as CEO at Henkel in 2020, Carsten Knobel has been a driving force behind the company’s Purposeful Growth agenda. In this Interview with managing partner and co-founder of SparkOptimus, Alexandra Jankovich, he discusses the progress made over the last two years, the five key elements behind the agenda and what the future holds.

    Key topics in this interview:


    Update on Purposeful Growth agenda
    Cultural transformation as a top priority
    Customer-centric digitalization
    The 2030+ Sustainability Ambition Framework
    Diversity program

    • 20 min
    In conversation with CEO Nancy McKinstry at Wolters Kluwers about successfully transforming a company from the print age to the digital age

    In conversation with CEO Nancy McKinstry at Wolters Kluwers about successfully transforming a company from the print age to the digital age

    Nancy McKinstry, CEO of Wolters Kluwer shares her key insights from 18 years at the top. How did she lead the company from the print age into the digital era while growing the share of digital revenue from ~30% to ~90%?

    Watch the full interview above and learn:


    Why it takes a decade to complete a successful transformation
    How she kept stakeholders and shareholders on board during times of significant investments and flat profits
    How she turned Wolters Kluwer into a customer-first tech company

    • 39 min
    In conversation with Mark Schneider, CEO at Nestlé about quickly transforming a business using digital capabilities

    In conversation with Mark Schneider, CEO at Nestlé about quickly transforming a business using digital capabilities

    CEO of Nestlé, Mark Schneider believes the best of digital is yet to come. As he leads the transformation, he shares key digital insights with Alexandra Jankovich: how consumers now move seamlessly between opportunities, why businesses need to reconfigure fast, and how mindsets are shifting from forward-looking market research to real-time data experimentation.

    • 23 min
    In conversation with Jitse Groen, founder & CEO Just Eat Takeaway.com about competing in a winner takes all market [Dutch Interview]

    In conversation with Jitse Groen, founder & CEO Just Eat Takeaway.com about competing in a winner takes all market [Dutch Interview]

    How did Just Eat Takeaway.com become Europe's #1 food delivery marketplace? Founder and CEO Jitse Groen speaks about his approach to conquering new markets, how he adapts his leadership style over time, and he reveals the two key performance indicators he looks at every day

    • 21 min

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