Governing Body Spotlight
Co-Chair of the Nordic CISO Community
Robert is currently the Group CISO of Electrolux, a position he has held since May 2021. He holds a MSc in Computer Science from Stockholm University, and has worked in Cyber Security and general IT governance for over 20 years. Prior to joining Electrolux, his roles have ranged from Network Technician and Information Security Consultant to CISO and Director of IT.
Learn more about leaders in the Nordic CISO Community here.
Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
The route to my current role has been long and winding, but always with Security at the core. After spending the first part of my career as a Technician and IT Security Architect, I worked as an Information Security Consultant for a few years before taking on the CISO role at a large Swedish corporation.
After that, I spent six years in more general IT Director roles before being drawn back into the Security field. When the opportunity presented itself to join a great company like Electrolux and to focus on security governance on a global level, it was just too good to pass up.
What is one of your guiding leadership principles?
Leadership in Cyber Security has two different aspects. Of course, you have to be a good people leader for your direct reports and teams, allowing you to build a trusting and empowering work environment for everyone. But you also have to be an informal leader across many different parts of the organisation since security needs to be an integrated part of all operations.
One thing I have found to be absolutely essential in the latter part is collaboration and motivation. If you can establish a good relationship and rapport with other parts of the organisation, motivate them and get them to see the benefits of implementing appropriate security measures, you will set yourself up for success.
With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CISO going in the next 1-2 years?
The CISO role is rapidly moving away from the technical side of Cyber Security, and into the realm of risk management and business enablement. Cyber risks are now being discussed and reported along with other business risks, and as a CISO, you are expected to be able to communicate effectively in a business management context. This requires a solid understanding of the business, and an ability to explain both the risks and opportunities in a non-technical way, with a very clear connection to the organization’s goals and strategies.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CISO?
Pace yourself! Don’t try to do everything for everyone at once or solve every issue that comes to your desk. Additionally, make sure to build strong relationships with key stakeholders around the organization.
Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
I love downhill skiing, and just being in the mountains! I also like to torment my family with my sub-par guitar playing and ‘singing’.
Why did you decide to join an Evanta community?
There are a lot of networks around, and as a CISO you get many requests to join groups and boards. I chose Evanta because I thoroughly liked the concept and the attitude, and simply because the community is very good. There are so many incredibly skilled people in this group, and there is so much to learn from them!
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