Coolblue is a large organization that is known for its unconventionality. To keep up with its rapid expansion and this originality, we as its Supervisory Board (installed on Mondhoekie B.V. level) also have to adopt the flexible mentality Coolblue is known for. This proves an interesting and challenging assignment, especially in a year as unpredictable as 2020. Still, we gladly take on this challenge.
Activities of the Supervisory Board
In 2020, we met 6 times with the Coolblue Management Team. Of these meetings, the last 5 were held online rather than in person as a result of Covid-19 meeting and travel advice. Although this felt unusual at first, we are happy with the way this goes now. Of course, we also had frequent interactions in between. During these meetings, we discussed recurring topics such as customer satisfaction (NPS), strategy, market developments, and financial and operational results.
Additionally, we discussed more specific topics, such as the way to handle the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the expansion to Germany, mechanization of the warehouse, the launch of new propositions like the Home Office Stores and Coolblue Energy, and personnel developments. These and other subjects were introduced by a presentation, given by the responsible manager. We greatly appreciate the explanations given by these managers, because it provided us with a better insight into the dynamics of the business and the people that make Coolblue.
The Audit Committee supports the Supervisory Board in the supervision of financing, reporting, internal controls, and risk management.
The Audit Committee met 3 times in 2020 with the CFO, Head of Finance, and the external auditor. During these meetings, the following topics were discussed: the financial statements of 2019, the audit planning for 2020, the findings of the interim audit and internal control findings in 2020, reporting structures and standards, risk management, tech security, fraud, and compliance with laws and regulations.
The Supervisory Board is happy with the growth and results that Coolblue has shown in 2020. But what made us even happier was seeing such flexibility and continuous effort from every Coolbluer in a time in which this is paramount. This has been part of the reason why Coolblue was able to continue its entrepreneurial journey throughout 2020. Furthermore, we are impressed by how Coolblue has implemented the lessons it drew from this unusual year and we are confident that these will continue to be valuable takeaways for the future.
We appreciate how Coolblue keeps taking increasing corporate and social responsibility.
Especially in a year as demanding as 2020, Coolblue has shown that it places maximum emphasis on providing its employees with a safe place to work, be it at home or at one of the Coolblue locations. Additionally, great care was taken to ensure the safety of customers in our stores and at their homes.
Coolblue demonstrates how it takes its responsibility to society through new propositions and by building on already existing propositions. The expansion of the solar proposition from solar panels to charging stations in 2020 is one example of this. We are enthusiastic about the announced entry to the energy market in 2021.
The expansion to Germany in 2020 took place at an impressive speed. The first order, a washing machine, was delivered in September. Nation-wide parcel delivery throughout Germany was rolled out a mere 3 months later. These steps and their results, such as a very high customer satisfaction, are very promising. A similar new growth opportunity was realized with the Home Office Stores. We look forward to seeing Coolblue’s further growth in these new and exciting business opportunities over the course of 2021.
With the new and award-winning recruitment website, Coolblue continues to make an effort in attracting new employees. And through its multiple in-house education institutes, including the Schuurschool which was introduced in 2020, Coolblue offers its employees careers rather than just jobs. Along with other initiatives, such as sending small tokens of appreciation to every Coolbluer, we believe that this demonstrates the type of employer Coolblue aims to be. Something we as the Supervisory Board wholeheartedly applaud.
Looking back on what just may be the most eventful year for Coolblue yet, we thank every Coolbluer for their efforts and flexibility. With such dedication to each other and to the organization, 2021 is bound to become a great year.
On behalf of the Supervisory Board,
Jaap van Wiechen
Members of the Supervisory Board
The Supervisory Board consists of a group of experienced entrepreneurs and investors. The board is an independent body that supervises the policy and daily order of business at Coolblue. In addition, the board and its individual members serve as a friendly, yet critical sounding board to the Management Team.
Each board member is committed to the interests of Coolblue, the customers, and all other involved parties. The board serves Coolblue and is free from the influence of external parties and independent of secondary interests.
The Supervisory Board currently consists of 4 members, each with their own experience or expertise relating to different aspects and activities of Coolblue. The composition of the Supervisory Board has not seen any changes in 2020. However, to further increase the diversity of the board, Coolblue will add a female member in 2021 and aims to add a sixth (female) member in the near future.
Jaap van Wiechen
Jaap van Wiechen (48) is a member of the Executive Board of HAL Holding N.V. and serves as a member of the Supervisory Board of Boskalis, SBM Offshore, and Atlas Services Group. Jaap acts as chairman of the Supervisory Board and is a member of the Audit Committee.
Harold Goddijn (60) is the co-founder and CEO of TomTom. Previously, he co-founded Psion Nederland before becoming Executive Director at Psion Computers Plc.
Theo Kiesselbach (55), a German national, is a retail expert. He started his professional career at McKinsey & Co. Afterward, he held executive roles in a number of German retail companies. Until May 2018, he was CEO of Grandvision. In 2019, he moved to Singapore and established an advisory and investment company.
Bert Groenewegen (57) is the current CFO of Nederlandse Spoorwegen and member of the Supervisory Board of Teslin Participaties Coöperatief UA. Bert’s previous positions include CFO at Exact Holding, CFO/CEO at PCM Uitgevers, and CFO at Ziggo. Bert is chairman of the Audit Committee.