Founder Pierre Guelen will retire after 42 years at Planon

7 May 2024 – Planon Group, the global leader in smart sustainable building management software, announced today that Peter Ankerstjerne will become its new Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 June 2024. Ankerstjerne will succeed founder Pierre Guelen, who will step down as CEO after 42 years at the helm of Planon.

Pierre Guelen began his career as a structural engineering consultant, but soon realised the potential of developing his own software package for maintenance planning, which he called ‘Planon’. Under Guelen's leadership, Planon quickly grew from a small maintenance consultancy to a market leader in the Netherlands, with customers such as PTT (KPN), Philips, Heineken, Shell, and many universities and municipalities. Guelen subsequently pursued an ambitious international expansion strategy, opening offices in Belgium, the UK, Germany, France, India, Singapore, Sweden, and the US, and acquiring other software companies along the way. Planon's software solutions are globally recognised as innovative and customer-oriented, and in the past two decades, the company has been repeatedly acknowledged as a global market leader by independent research and market intelligence firms, such as Verdantix, IDC, Frost & Sullivan, and Gartner. Pierre Guelen is widely acknowledged as a visionary entrepreneur. Planon today operates as a truly international company with offices in 16 countries and more than 1,100 employees.

Peter Ankerstjerne joined Planon in February 2021 as Chief Strategy Officer and has been instrumental in shaping the company's vision, strategy, and innovation roadmap. He has also strengthened Planon's position as a thought leader and partner for customers and stakeholders in the smart building market. Prior to Planon, Peter held various senior positions at leading organisations such as ISS and JLL, where he gained extensive knowledge and experience in workplace and facility management. Peter has also served on the IFMA (International Facility Management Association) Board of Directors for a seven-year period, including a two-year term as the Chairman of the Board. In addition to his contributions at IFMA, Peter has served on various committees and councils within the facility management, real estate, and outsourcing industries. With a bachelor’s degree in international marketing management and an MBA from Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in Denmark, Peter brings a strong academic foundation to his professional endeavours.

'Peter is the ideal leader to take Planon to the next level of success,' said Pierre Guelen. 'He has a deep understanding of our market, our customers and our technology, and a clear vision for the future of Planon. I have full confidence in his ability to keep driving Planon's growth and innovation, while maintaining our core values and customer focus. I am proud of what we have achieved together at Planon, and I am excited to support Peter and the Planon team in this new chapter.'

'I am honoured and extremely proud to take on the role of CEO of Planon Group,' commented Peter Ankerstjerne. 'Planon has an outstanding reputation, a strong culture and a highly talented team that is dedicated to delivering value and innovation to our customers. I look forward to continuing to work with them and our partners to further grow our business, expand our global footprint and lead the digital transformation of the built environment.'

Ankerstjerne added, 'I would also like to express my gratitude to and admiration for Pierre, who has built Planon from the ground up into a global leader in smart building management software. His vision and passion have created lasting value for our customers as well as our employees and have elevated the industry to becoming more digitally oriented. He is a true entrepreneur and an inspiration for us all.'