A.P. Moeller Group



Evidently I'm a glutton for punishment as A. P. Moeller is the fourth company in Copenhagen I'm attempting to revisit. What can I say, Copenhagen's a great city but four years ago I had more memorable lousy receptions here than in almost any other European city.

Moeller, with almost $7 billion in revenues, has its hand in a slew of businesses. Besides having the world's largest container carrier fleet, Moeller operates Maersk (a scheduled airline), owns one of Denmark's largest supermarket chains and dabbles in shipbuilding and oil & gas exploration.

Built in 1979, Moeller's block long, seven-story concrete edifice fronts the waterfront. A large Henry Moore sculpture graces the grounds and a massive flagpole (taller than the building and looking more like a ship's mast) stands outside the entrance. Though having a head office along this waterfront area is prestigious in itself, there's more to its location; a block away stands the huge and grandiose palace of the Queen of Denmark. Matter of fact, next door to Moeller's head office is a docking area owned by the company and it's evidently where the royal clan disembarks.

My last visit was a bust thanks to the uninterested Executive Vice President I met with. As I was being marshaled out the door I readily recall saying to him, "Boy, I come 10,000 miles to visit your company and all you do is take me to a small room next to the reception area for five minutes. I was hoping maybe I'd get a tour of some of the floors". I'll never forget the fake smile on his face when he responded with, "walk around the OUTSIDE of the office block and have a good time".

It's around 4 PM when I show up in the lobby and after a few minutes I'm meeting with Jens Lauritzen whose business card reads "Assistant Manager, PR Department". He's a nice guy and I quickly confess to having visited the company four years earlier and give a brief recap of the events. Part of the reason for doing so is to find out if he had checked my website and read about the previous visit. When sending the introductory material to companies I mention the www.corporatetrivia.com address so companies can get an idea of what I do. My confession is for naught, as Lauritzen doesn't let on if he's read about the first visit.

Within a few minutes Lauritzen has me comfortably seated in a nice 150-seat auditorium watching a short video presentation on the company. Afterwards we adjourn next door to the large good-looking cafeteria where he fields my questions. Lauritzen's stock goes up a notch after I ask about work hours and learn he was suppose to have gone home at 4 PM -over half an hour ago (just about the time I showed up).

Founded in 1904, Moeller has over 35,000 employees worldwide with roughly 900 of those working here. Recreational facilities includes two indoor squash courts and aerobics center. It's a 25 minute drive to Copenhagen's airport (the company owns one jet) and smoking isn't allowed in offices. Several of the company's businesses are active on the Internet including Maersk Air (the scheduled airline) and the container business- which lets customers track the progress of their shipments.
I don't get see CEO Jess Soederberg's corner office or the wood paneled boardroom because "it's not allowed" It's not that big of a deal though as I'm able to get a feel of the place thanks to Lauritzen walking me around his floor