Former Signify digital exec surfaces as CEO at Norway’s Glamox

Oct. 11, 2022
Astrid Simonsen Joos sounds determined to boost the IoT business at the LED lighting company, which is strong in the maritime sector and building its human-centric presence.

A former top Signify executive has quietly resurfaced as the CEO of Oslo-based Glamox, a leader in providing LED lighting to the maritime and offshore wind sectors, and an active player in the human-centric lighting market.

Astrid Simonsen Joos took over after the retirement of former CEO Rune Marthinussen, the company announced on non-English language wires last month.

Her appointment became effective on August 1, making her at least the second woman to head a prominent lighting firm in Europe. Bodil Sonesson is CEO at Fagerhult Group in neighboring Sweden.

Simonsen Joos was previously the global chief digital officer and head of transformation at Signify, where she led efforts to overhaul internal and external processes via online methods, leaving in August 2021. Prior to that she had served as CEO of Signify Nordics, from June 2014 through March 2019.

As a proponent of digital operations, Joos looks determined to help move Glamox more into connected IoT lighting, where like other lighting outfits, Glamox will both compete against and partner with IT firms trying to turn offices and public places into “smart” environments via data collection and analysis techniques. To do this, lighting companies are outfitting their wares with sensors and communication chips and teaming with cloud computing organizations.

“I see many opportunities for the road ahead,” Simonsen Joos said in a new English-language press release that Glamox provided to LEDs Magazine. “The companies that are our competitors today might not be tomorrow — we are not only in the business of lighting but in technology as well. We cannot lose sight of this.”

The lighting industry’s attempts to serve IT functions have progressed more slowly than the industry would like, but vendors continue to look determined to do it. Fagerhult, for instance, recently appointed its first ever chief technology officer to shape IoT strategy, and in so doing tapped a technology executive, Johan Lembre, with no lighting background. In fact, when Fagerhult hired Sonesson as CEO four years ago, it was in part because of her strong background in networking technology.

Glamox’s Simonsen Joos also comes with plenty of IT credentials. Besides running digital transformation at Signify, her career stops have included 13 years at Microsoft and two years as head of Danish digital consultancy Creuna, from 2011 through 2013. Joos served on the Danish prime minister’s Disruption Council between 2017 and 2019. She is currently on the board of Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor.

She brings an intrepid spirit to Glamox, having over the last two decades skied across Greenland, competed in the Arctic Circle Race in the same country — also on skis — and climbed Russia’s Mt. Elbrus, which is the highest mountain in the Caucasus range, higher than any in Europe.

Simonsen Joos takes over a lighting company that is about 95% LED, selling to ship operators and other maritime customers, offshore wind farms, and professional sectors including schools, health care, retail, and manufacturing. The company is pushing hard into human-centric lighting applications, in which lighting is tuned to foster human health. Simonsen Joos’ technology background could be a good match for that.

Privately held Glamox, which keeps its books in Norwegian krone, is believed to have had the sales equivalent of around €330 million in its last year. Its main shareholder is Triton, a London-based private equity firm.

LEDs Magazine hopes to soon bring you more on Simonsen Joos and her plans for Glamox.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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