All the way to the top

Twenty-seven years after leaving Aarhus with an MSc in Economics and Business Administration, Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen was back at Aarhus BSS for the first time. Now as CEO of Novo Nordisk and as the Alum of the Year 2018.

[Translate to English:] Dekan Thomas Pallesen overrækker CEO i Novo Nordisk Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen prisen som Årets Alumne 2018 på Aarhus BSS. Foto: Anders Trærup
[Translate to English:] Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen. Foto: Anders Trærup

"The Alum of the Year award is a symbol of what we we’re aiming for at Aarhus BSS. And at the same time, the award is an honour for an alum who has done exceptionally well. And there is no doubt that this applies for this year’s alumnus," said the dean at Aarhus BSS, Thomas Pallesen, when he presented the Alum of the Year 2018 award to the CEO at Novo Nordisk, Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, at the Aarhus BSS summer festival.

The week after Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen graduated from the former Aarhus School of Business, he got his first job as an MSc in Economics and Business Administration at Novo Nordisk in August 1991. We all know that Novo Nordisk is one of Denmark's largest companies and among the world's leading pharmaceutical companies.

Slowly but surely Lars worked his way up at Novo Nordisk over the following years through various management positions and in many countries before he took over as CEO on 1 January 2017.

"I'm grateful for what I could take with me after my five years at the former Aarhus School of Business, including my half-year stay at San Francisco State University. Almost every day, I still draw on the strong academic and practice-oriented teaching I received. During the first years, I mostly drew on the specific skills I learned on operating finances, and in more recent years I have drawn on the organisational theory for change management I learned, which has proven most useful in my work," says Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, who is delighted to receive the award.

"It is a great honour for me to receive the Alum of the Year award from Aarhus BSS. It is an honour because I have the greatest respect for Aarhus BSS as an educational and research institution," he says.

For this year’s alumnus, the summer festival meant a little more than a simple reunion with the characteristic red-brown bricks on Fuglesangs Allé. He also met his old study group.

"It was a wonderful bonus on top of an already delightful evening," says Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen.

CV - Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen

  • Born in November 1966 in Skals near Viborg, Denmark
  • Graduated from Viborg Katedralskole high school in 1985
  • MSc. in Economics and Business Administration from Aarhus School of Business in 1991 (six months at San Francisco State University, CA)
  • Economist in Health Care, Economy & Planning, Novo Nordisk, 1991
  • Finance Department, Novo Nordisk 1994
  • Vice President responsible for finance and IT in Japan, Novo Nordisk, 2001
  • Senior Vice President, Novo Nordisk, 2004
  • Group Director, Novo Nordisk, 2013
  • CEO, Novo Nordisk, 2017