Former CIO Marcel Krom joins Anderson MacGyver

30 September 2022 5 min. read

As CIO of PostNL, Marcel Krom was at the forefront of a successful transformation to a digital company. He was the driving force behind technological solutions for optimizing (chain) processes and customer experience. After almost thirteen years as CIO, he has now started life as a part-time consultant.

“You don't take a decision like that overnight,” the former CIO says about the career switch. “PostNL is a beautiful company with great people. I certainly could have stayed there a few more years until retirement. Then my farewell speech would have been mainly about PostNL, while I often got outside the company walls enough to know that there is more.”

“To be able to discover and explore all that, I need freedom and time. I then set a date for leaving, which was postponed twice. After all, it took a while to find my successor and I wanted to hand everything over properly.”

Gerard Wijers, Marcel Krom and Rik Bijmholt

Krom deliberately chose not to take on a new CIO role, because then he would once again be in one domain for a long time. He wants to develop more broadly, gain experience in different industries and positions.

“As CIO, you are also operationally responsible 7x24 hours in addition to the digital business strategy. After all, if IT doesn't work, nothing works anymore. When you have a thousand systems, and they all have a problem three times a year, you know you're constantly dealing with operational sores.”

Making the creative translation

He wanted more time for the creative part: to translate the business activities into the enterprise architecture and then the IT architecture. As far as he is concerned, digital transformations start with the business and end with IT via the operating model. Those three pillars should come together in the architecture. “For me, that is the core,” said Krom.

He then began to have exploratory conversations with various consulting firms. “You quickly come to the consideration: in the Netherlands or internationally? I didn't feel much like sitting on a plane all the time anyway. But also: do the culture and methodology match my own views? I wanted to work two days a week as a consultant in order to have enough time for other activities as well.”

Krom has been a commissioner of Facilicom Group since 2020 and a member of TWTG’s advisory board.

“Marcel called me last fall that he was quitting,” explains Gerard Wijers, director at Anderson MacGyver. “We were on his shortlist and he was curious to see how things worked here. Preferably, consultants join us on a permanent basis, in view of our self-developed approach and concepts - our intellectual property. Joining as an associate is possible in specific cases.”

“But everyone follows the same training program, participates in in-depth meetings, training sessions, team-building initiatives and so on. Regardless of one's background, competencies or role.” That clarity did appeal to Krom. “It is a great advantage that we have worked closely and enjoyably together within PostNL.”

Right match

Anderson MacGyver indeed turned out to be the right match, the former CIO explains. “Indeed, we have known each other for some time. They have well-thought-out models and standard approaches for successful digital transformations. Think of the Operating Model Canvas and multimodal analysis to optimally align operations and IT with the business. Or the Value Web, which provides insight into a company’s added value within a market or ecosystem.”

“Moreover, Anderson MacGyver is not that big, is humane and has both feet on the ground.”

Apart from its philosophy and methods, the internationally developing consultancy does indeed have a distinctive signature: familial, authentic, passionate and determined to make an impact for clients. Wijers: “That suits Marcel well. He is ideally someone who wants to move forward in a good atmosphere. In addition, he has seen that we only work with the best people. That's a coat that fits and feels right, both for him and for us.”

Half of the time Krom does other types of work; things that do not necessarily fit with Anderson MacGyver’s strategy and activities. For example, in a country or area where one is not active or something within a completely different domain. “Where possible, I will always do something together with Anderson MacGyver or other parties. On your own, you may be able to think fast – this is the direction it should go – but on your own you won’t get far. Collaboration and connecting companies allows for speed and makes it scalable.”

Within Anderson MacGyver, the 2020 CIO of the Year has no distinct status or role, but ‘just started’ as an associate on the 1st of September. “We did a trajectory together last summer and it went flawlessly. We let it all develop organically. More creative, less operational and in different environments.”

Developing organically

Wijers: “The fact that Marcel has joined us says something about where we stand as a company. He is one of the best known and most highly regarded CIOs. In addition to his stature, he has a strong personality. As a person and a professional, he can offer us a lot. We are super happy and proud that Marcel has chosen us. Our impact with clients will be even greater with his knowledge and experience.”

Anderson MacGyver stays true to the proven models and methods used to solve challenging puzzles for clients. “We typically do this in consultation, with carefully assembled teams and with attention to both the business activities, the operating model and the IT architecture,” said the managing director and co-founder.

“We are at the top when it comes to digital strategies and transformations. We work for clients like Leaseplan, PostNL, Eneco and other large Dutch companies. In the Nordics, we advise Scania, among others. We often advise on projects that require huge interventions and investments. We also find small clients interesting. The most important thing is that we can use our creativity and our craftsmanship.”

People and the planet

At PostNL, the transformation was fundamentally about making the company able to withstand change. Given its crucial role, that was an economically and socially very meaningful ambition. “You noticed that in the commitment and energy of the people working at PostNL,” says Marcel Krom. “Everyone wanted to show that this huge transformation was possible.”

“For such engagements, I want to have more opportunity. Knowing what's going on, and knowing what needs to change, with an eye for people and planet.”