8 November 2023

Employee Spotlight: Adrien Henry

In this edition of our spotlight feature, we speak to Adrien Henry, the new Head of Sales for Europe & Africa at Weidmann Electrical Technology, who brings fresh perspectives to the evolving energy industry.

What is your role at Weidmann, what does it involve, and how long have you worked for the company?

I recently joined Weidmann just a few weeks ago as Head of Sales for the Europe & Africa business unit. I am responsible for sales and business growth in the Europe/Africa region and also for increasing the value perception of Weidmann to our customers.

I am based in Lausanne, Switzerland, but you will see me all around the Europe/Africa region. Although born, raised, and studied in Belgium, I quickly developed a taste for travel, living in Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, and now in Switzerland.

What other roles have you held, and in which industry sector(s)?

I began my career in the oil & gas exploration industry as a Technical Support and Project Engineer, aiming to create a bridge between R&D and field operations worldwide. From this role, I moved into Operations in East and South Africa, where I lived for three years. This period helped me gain invaluable hands-on experience, learning to work with different cultures and face new local challenges.

I focused on sales when I moved to Switzerland eight years ago, working for a Swiss organization in the energy industry. In this role, I led the Sales department, with the primary objective to grow the business. It was a great opportunity to work hand-in-hand with a fantastic sales team and play a pivotal role in helping the company transition to more renewable energy solutions. Following the acquisition of the Swiss company by a large multinational two years ago, I also played a key role in integrating sales operations into the group, securing promising prospects for future growth and success.

What inspired you to pursue the career you have today, and how do you continue to motivate yourself?

When I became aware that Weidmann was looking for a new Head of Sales for Europe & Africa, it seemed to me to be a natural move. It meant developing further my sales leadership skills while continuing to contribute to the energy transition.

With the increasing mix of energies flowing into the grid, reliable and high-quality products play a more important role in making the electrical network more resilient. My focus on energy transition and renewable sectors in my previous role provides a good foundation to help Weidmann’s customers further increase the reliability of their systems.

One of the strongest motivating factors is my team, who, in the short space of time I’ve had to meet them, inspire me with their high level of expertise, their passion, and their commitment to developing Weidmann’s success.

What do you find interesting about Weidmann?

Weidmann has been active in this industry for about 150 years now. Yet, they are still recognized as the leading supplier by all major players in the transformer industry. I ask myself – how do they do it?

With the strong outlook of the renewable energy sector, there are plenty of new and interesting opportunities to grow the business. However, other challenges related to supply chain shortages or inflation, for instance, require focus and strategic thinking. In this context, helping customers grow their businesses reliably is a challenging and exciting task.

From a work perspective, what are your key objectives?

My key objectives are to help deliver business growth in the Europe/Africa region, support the transition toward more renewable energies, and bring new ideas and a different perspective within the sales function.

I think that it is also very important to keep a high level of dynamism and agility to help the business deal with challenges. This starts with establishing trust within the sales team and building strong relationships.

What are the latest and most challenging developments in sales and customer service in the energy sector?

There is an urgent need for more renewable energies and a denser “meshed” transmission grid within and among countries, which naturally leads to an increasing need for electrical systems and components. This is, of course, a consequence of climate change and geopolitical context, but the latter also seriously challenges the electrical market, bringing a lot of tension to supply chains.

Most organizations operating in the energy sector are now required to deliver at a fast pace and, at the same time, deal with longer or uncertain lead times.

Our Sales Team, therefore, has to be agile and have to adapt to this dynamically changing environment constantly.

What are your interests outside of work?

I love mountain sports, including trail running in summer and skiing in winter. I also love spending time with family, but now, having three young boys leaves me less time, of course, to go out in the mountains on my own. So now, I combine both passions by teaching the boys mountain sports!

Thanks for speaking with us today!

See another Employee Spotlight here.