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Lars Erik Grønntun stepped down from his role as Hill+Knowlton Strategies global president in 2020, going in-house to join Norwegian game-based educational platform Kahoot as chief operating and chief marketing officer. Grønntun manages the company's operational agenda as well as developing Kahoot’s global communications strategy, and at the end of last year it announced investment from global growth equity firm General Atlantic.
On top of his in-house role, Grønntun has found the energy to set up a new communications and marketing holding company, Paritee, in 2021, which has since taken majority stakes in agencies such as Scandinavian PR agency Geelmuyden.Kiese Group (GKG) and recruited Jonas Palmqvist, the former chief operating officer of Weber Shandwick in EMEA, as CEO.
Grønntun move to Kahoot came after nearly a decade in H+K senior leadership roles, and 18 years with the firm in total: he joined in 2002 when Gambit, the Norwegian consultancy he founded, was acquired by H+K. Grønntun had served as one of two global presidents since October 2018, when he and Richard Millar were elevated. Jack Martin, H+K’s global chairman until he stood down two years ago, noted that Grønntun “sets an example for what true leadership looks like. As with all great leaders, Lars Erik consistently provides encouragement and inspiration to those around him, and the results of that are clear — he lifts the team up.”
Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR’s direct impact on business performance?
A pre-IPO positioning that very much helped raise awareness amongst the investor community and assisted a very successful IPO.
What are the communications industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
Both continue to be: to prove more real effect on business outcomes.
What have you most admired about the communications industry over the past year, and what has disappointed you?
Generally I feel communicators are too preoccupied with façade and symbolic display, rather than substantive evidence of the impact on the business.
How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness over the past year?
High-altitude cross-country skiing helps occasionally.
Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through the past year or provided inspiration?
Old episodes of The Office. This answer also applies to the prior question.
If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
Spending a lot more time skiing.
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