a result of success
In the beginning, co-founder Luc Van Aelbroeck saw delaware as a project, and he saw himself as the project leader. “As Managing Director I had a clear goal in mind. I knew who the stakeholders were and what contributions they had to make to achieve our goal.” That first project team after the management buyout in 2003 comprised 124 staff members. Today, delaware employs around 3,000 people worldwide.
Jan Delaere, who became Managing Director in 2009, remembers it well: “When I took over from Luc, you could still know everyone by name, but our fast growth meant I had to let go of that at a certain point. After six years, our staff had doubled again.” Patrick Andersen also presided over impressive growth during his term as Managing Director, but he points out that there is no obsession with getting bigger. “Growth is not the goal, growth is the result,” he says. “Our growth is the sum of the ambitions of all our solutions.” Jan Delaere adds, “Our primary goal has always been to create lasting value. Growth follows from that.”
Jan De Bock predicts continued growth for delaware Belux in the next five years, although he suspects it will be less rapid than in the past. For Jan it’s crucial that the company’s identity is preserved: “It’s precisely our unique culture and pragmatic approach that make us so strong. We continue to recruit young people and include them in our delaware approach,” he says. Patrick Andersen adds, “The mix of different ages and backgrounds also enriches our leadership.” The four men agree that the 15-year age difference between Patrick Andersen and Jan De Bock, who recently turned 40, will create a new and inspiring dynamic at the company because, as Jan Delaere says, “The future is in the hands of the young.”