His team is another motivator for Harald when it comes to growth. He admits that he did not set out to be a leader, beginning his career with an interest in electronics, programing, and hardware, but he watched and learned from his own inspiring leaders. They saw potential in him and gave him opportunities, something he has never forgotten and tries hard to replicate now he is at the helm.
He says, “When we grow, we give people so many opportunities – that’s very interesting for me personally, as it’s something I really valued as I developed my career with TOMRA. We want to provide opportunities for people to have new challenges, to try new things and develop skills.”
A long-standing career at TOMRA
Harald’s own career path has seen plenty of the aforementioned challenges, travel and new experiences. Born and raised in Norway, he studied Electronics at the University of Salford in Manchester, UK, and began his career in technical and project management in the early 1990s. He worked in defense communications technology for many years, before joining TOMRA as Senior Vice President of Technology in 2004. He oversaw TOMRA Collection’s operations in China before becoming Senior Vice President, Head of North America Collection, in 2011, moving with his family to Connecticut to take on the role. He has been Head of TOMRA Collection, based in Asker, Norway, since 2016.
One of the highlights for Harald since joining TOMRA Collection was overseeing the implementation of a deposit system for non-refillable containers in Germany. In 2006, TOMRA delivered approximately 8,800 new reverse vending systems to Germany alone. That accounted for about three times as much as total sales volume worldwide in a normal year at the time, and Germany has been a key market for TOMRA ever since.
After his many years with TOMRA, Harald still feels driven and excited by the company’s work and has seen a step change in how the business measures its success.