Company background

Ekornes is one of Europe’s largest furniture manufacturers and owns the brand names Ekornes®, Stressless®, Svane® and IMG. Stressless® is one of the world’s most well-known furniture brands, while the brands Ekornes® and Svane® are most famous in Norway. The group has presence in 48 markets with 3,200 employees globally.

Ekornes has an ambitious growth strategy to increase global presence, capturing new customer segments and expanding product categories. As such they required an experienced and highly sales-focused Commercial Director for their Central European business covering all brands across Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

The brief

With responsibility for developing and implementing commercial strategies to drive revenue growth and profitability, Ekornes needed a candidate with a proven track record of selling high value consumer products across multiple channels and territories. Aside from developing relationships with key customers, the role would demand effective collaboration with sales and marketing teams to create successful go-to-market strategies as well as strong analysis of market trends to identify growth opportunities. Strong leadership skills were essential as well as excellent analytical ability.

The process

With support from researchers Alana Grugan in London and Marie Meurer in Frankfurt, Simon Nolan – our Head of Consumer Practice – conducted a broad search focused on premium consumer products with comparable distribution channels. Utilising Directorbank’s network across Northern Europe combined with comprehensive mapping activity, Simon was able to deliver a fully qualified shortlist of impressive candidates.


Nico Sattler was successfully appointed to the role and brings relevant professional experience in the industry having worked at Emma as Head of Retail DACH, and before that as Head of Sales DACH for the Emma and Dunlopillo brands. He has also held senior sales roles at F.A.N. Frankenstolz Schlafkomfort GmbH, one of Europe’s largest home textile manufacturers. Nico’s passion, track record and clear methodology on achieving results enabled him to stand out in the assessment process.