Christian Lanng
CEO & Co-Founder
Tradeshaft

(5.0)
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  1. Christian is an outspoken, no-nonsense CEO. He’s a polymath who has a strong, evidenced-backed view on almost every subject you’d care to name. He’s not afraid to make controversial statements. And as a Dane in Silicon Valley, he has a pretty unique perspective – somewhere between socialism and capitalism. Indeed, it’s a balance between these two ideals which sits at the core of Tradeshift. At age 19, Christian founded and sold his first company, an early mobile internet and e-commerce solution, and became the youngest Head of Division within the Danish government. At 27, Christian co-founded Tradeshift with two friends in a garage, and 13 years later, their vision to change the operation of global business has become a reality, as millions of people across the world now use Tradeshift. Christian’s key strengths all ladder back to his ability to evolve himself and the business. Pinpointing the precise moment when change needs to happen is more art than science. Christian says Tradeshift has been through five or six such renewals in the past ten years and that a big part of leadership is about keeping an eye out for the signs and knowing when to make a change – like when he moved Tradeshift headquarters from Copenhagen to San Francisco in 2012. The Tradeshift platform now supports an excess of $20 billion in transactions monthly and is on track to cross a threshold of one trillion dollars in transacted value processed. Furthermore, Christian’s leadership story is one of regular reinvention and a recognition that companies require different energy at different stages in their growth. As a sociology major, Christian has a deep understanding of how different personalities and people can help shape culture. It’s an approach he deploys strategically to help steer the company through different phases of its growth. Recently, Christian and Tradeshift made some strategic executive hires bringing in new leadership in the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Revenue Officer positions. He believes that if you want to evolve a culture then you need to bring people in who are often at the more extreme end of where you want to end up. You have to have confidence that the DNA of the business is flexible enough to move, but not so flexible it will capitulate.

    Staff, submitted on

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