Stépan Breedveld joins The Boston Consulting Group in Amsterdam

20 December 2017

After leading Benelux IT services company Ordina for seven years, CEO Stépan Breedveld has returned to home soil. The former CEO of Ordina has re-joined The Boston Consulting Group in Amsterdam, where he will leverage his turnaround experience to bolster the TURN and TMT practices of the strategy consultancy.

Stépan Breedveld previsouly spent seventeen years with The Boston Consulting Group, between 1993 and 2010. In his last role prior to joining Ordina, Breedveld was a Vice President and practice leader of the firm’s Dutch telecom, media en technology (TMT) arm, focused on clients in the telecom en IT sectors. He in addition led BCG’s global telecom practice.

After spending about one year as an executive at Ordina, an IT-services company with around 2,600 employees in the Benelux, Breedveld in September ascended to the top role, succeeding Ronald Kasteel. Main task of the newly appointed Chief Executive: improve the company’s competitive positioning and bottom-line results.

Stépan Breedveld, Senior Partner. Allard Creyghton, Managing Partner at BCG

In the midst of the economic crisis, Breedveld managed to navigate Ordina through a challenging period. Under his leadership the technology player sharpened its business model, improved the agility of its corporate structure (Ordina reduced the number of management layers, among others) and executed a large restructuring programme in a bid to slash the cost-base. After being re-appointed for a second four year term in September 2014, Breedveld started positioning Ordina on a path back to profitability. The turnaround has meanwhile allowed the firm to reap the rewards – today Ordina is paying dividens, is debt-free, and according to its current leadership, ready for its next growth phase. 

For Breedveld, Ordina’s rejuvenated fortunes formed the ideal moment to pass on the baton. “My task has been completed and so this is a natural moment to step down. Our people serve a large compliment and I would like to thank them for their contribution and success,” he said last year when he unveiled his decision. Formally, Breedveld stepped down as CEO in April this year.

Returning to home soil

Meanwhile, the executive consultant has disclosed his next move –– and for the second time in his career he has decided to stay on known ground. When Breedveld joined Ordina in 2010 he already was a familiar face in its boardroom – he at the time served as a strategic consultant to Ordina. Now, Breedveld is returning to The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), with over 90 offices in 50 countries one of the globe’s three largest strategy consulting firms. BCG, which is headquartered in Boston, where it was founded in 1963, is active in the Netherlands since 1993, when it entered the market through an acquisition. The firm’s Dutch office is based in Amsterdam.

Per the 1st of January 2018 Breedveld, who studied Business Economics and Physics, has been named a Senior Partner and Managing Director at the firm. Leveraging the extensive turnaround experience he gained at Ordina, he will play a key role in further developing BCG’s TURN (derived from ‘turnaround’) practice which focuses on restructuring cases and accelerated profit improvement programmes*. In addition, he will serve clients in the telecom, media and technology sector on strategic, operational and organisational issues.

Quote Stépan Breedveld

Breedveld on his appointment, “I am very happy to rejoin BCG. My role as CEO was a bumpy ride at times, but also a tremendous learning experience. hope that my recent executive experience, coupled with my consulting background, will provide additional value to our clients on the complex issues they face.”

The Managing Partner of BCG in Amsterdam, Allard Creyghton, said that he looks forward to welcoming Breedveld. “Our TURN practice cooperates closely with clients to ensure the delivery of results in a short time frame. This requires a different client engagement model and people with hands-on skill sets. I believe Stepan will bring both the knowledge and the experience to make that difference to our clients and I wish him a lot of success.” 

Creyghton himself has been with The Boston Consulting Group for more than 24 years. He succeeded the Dutchman Huib Kurstjens (still at the consultancy) in 2014, prior to that he stood at the helm of BCG’s office in San Francisco. Under his leadership, BCG is on a strong run: the firm has managed to grow its team to over 200 consultants. Globally, The Boston Consulting Group generates revenues of $5.6 billion.

* BCG’s TURN practice is led by the Dane Lars Fæste, who has been with the management consultancy for over twenty years.

Rik de Weerd joins Product League as Chief Digital Transformation

19 April 2019

Product League, a digital transformation agency dedicated to the OutSystems platform, has brought Rik de Weerd on board as Chief Digital Transformation.

Based in the Netherlands, Product League is a rapidly growing digital product specialist. The firm helps clients – including the likes of beer brewer Heineken and grocery players Albert Heijn and Coop – build systems, applications and products by combining a rapid application development approach with an agile way of working. To this end, Product League is dedicated to the low-code platform of OutSystems. 

Against a backdrop of a growing need to transform core legacy systems, as organisations embrace emerging technologies to bolster competitiveness and (digitally) navigate change, low-code is seeing a booming uptake by organisations of all sizes. According to one estimate, by a US analyst firm, the market for low code development is set to double in size from its current value of $1.6 billion roughly every two years during the period until 2025. Alongside peers such as Appian and Mendix, OutSystems is at the forefront of the low-code industry.

According to Rik de Weerd, Product League is uniquely positioned to tap into the growing market for OutSystems services, leveraging its specialist and multidisciplinary approach to help clients “deliver winning products”. He elaborated, “there are many good players in the OutSystems market which deliver excellent technical work. Product League goes beyond this, and additionally brings a focus on the strategic level. The firm is not only a strategic partner with the right toolset, but also brings the determination to take clients wherever they need to go.”

Rik de Weerd joins Product League as Chief Digital Transformation

The Dutchman brings a wealth of experience to Product League, as well as a reputation as one of the Benelux’s OutSystems thought leaders in the low-code industry. Before joining the digital consultancy, he worked for OutSystems from their Benelux office as Lead Solution Architect for Northern Europe. During his tenure, he has led a large number of digital transformation projects and has been responsible for resolving complex business and IT issues. Earlier in his career he held several IT consulting and project management roles. 

Asked about his move from OutSystems to Product League, De Weerd commented: “After five years of evangelising low-code, drawing up countless solutions across Northern Europe and battling 'old habits and short-term thinking’, now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. I had the privilege to be presented with several new business cases every week in different branches and help blueprint the road to value in all of them. Now I’m eager to take that to the next level and drive the programmes that actually transform corporations into the digital age.”

“Low-code has crossed the chasm, the technology is now here to stay. Searching for new, more effective ways of catalysing their digital transformation, leading companies are realising this. Driving digital transformation as a core competency of Product League is now my mission and I believe it will be an excellent fit.” 

He further pointed at Product League’s ability to provide an end-to-end service, “With a team of product owners, business analysts, UX/UI designers and OutSystems developers, Product League can offer clients the full digital experience. But technology can only take you so far – without the right people, the right mindset and the power to execute, IT stays hypothetical. I believe I’ve found all three in Product League.”