Steven van Schilfgaarde seems the antithesis of Lucas Vos

    With the appointment of Steven van Schilfgaarde for the next four years, Royal FloraHolland is getting a director who makes a complete change from Lucas Vos. Apart from giving direction to FloraHolland’s strategy for the future, flamboyant Vos will be remembered for his passionate behaviour during meetings, where his presentations often resembled true motivational speeches, clenched fists and all. Van Schilfgaarde, the current Chief Financial Officer (CFO), has a totally different personality.

    During his 1.5 years on FloraHolland’s Management Board so far, Van Schilfgaarde has come across as a calm and sound manager. At AGM’s and press conferences, we have seen him present the auction’s figures in a brisk, businesslike manner. As you’d expect from a financial director, he’s completely on top of the numbers behind the auction’s policies.

    Lucas Vos en Steven van Schilfgaarde van Royal FloraHolland.

    However, Van Schilfgaarde doesn’t have that much experience in the role of general director or CEO. From 2011 until 2013, he was the last director of well-known ICT company Getronics within KPN, which was absorbed by the Dutch telecommunications company later on. Van Schilfgaarde spent 25 years with KPN, in various different (financial) management roles. After that, he briefly worked as a member of the supervisory boards of KPMG and of LeasePlan Corporation, before becoming FloraHolland’s CFO in May 2016.

    All in all, Van Schilfgaarde has held nine different positions, none lasting more than two years, since 2004. It’ll be interesting to see how he is going to make the transition from financial director to general director for the entire FloraHolland organisation. On LinkedIn, his colleagues praise his skills in change management in particular. Something that Royal FloraHolland might be looking for, as it’s going through major changes at the moment.

    The number of years of service among the executive directors of FloraHolland is rapidly going down though, once Vos has left. When Van Schilfgaarde takes over the position, he’ll have been with FloraHolland for a year and a half. Chances are that the new CFO will be attracted from outside the organisation. In the management layer below, Chief Operations Officer Marcel Claessen, recently announced his departure, too. He’s been with FloraHolland for 11 years. His successor, Yme Pasma, is also from outside the organisation.

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