A true change maker
Floris Maljers dedicated his life to positive change. From 1984-1994, he achieved successes most leaders would admire. In addition to being a professor of business administration at RSM, Maljers woke the sleeping giant Unilever and streamlined their activities, thereby averting would-be takeover attempts. Furthermore, he led and supervised organisations like Philips, Vendex, KLM, UMC Utrecht, the Concertgebouw, the Rijksmuseum and steered various negotiations on behalf of the Dutch government. In addition to his roles in the Dutch government, Maljers also assisted the Dutch royal family by mentoring the young Crown Prince Willem-Alexander in business.
Leaving a legacy at RSM
Maljers was also active in the board of the foundation of RSM’s MBA programme and took part in several advisory roles within the university.
Said Prof. Ansgar Richter, Dean of RSM, “Floris Maljers was a true friend of RSM. He helped to establish the Unilever-Erasmus Chair in Marketing that enabled the School to attract top international marketing scholars. He also was Professor of Strategy and served RSM in important advisory functions, especially for our RSM MBA programme. We will miss his unwavering support for our institution.”
From grandson of a grocer to leader of a grocery manufacturer
Born in 1933 in Middelburg in Zeeland, Maljers was the son of a wholesaler and the grandson of a grocer. It is befitting that he would go on to lead multinational organisation Unilever, which he called a ‘grocery manufacturer’, to renewed success. After receiving his gymnasium diploma, Maljers started working as an apprentice journalist at the Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant. From there, he studied economics in Amsterdam at an organisation with a strong international apprentice programme. Eventually, he submitted his CV for a role with Unilever in Turkey, but Unilever asked him to manage their office in Colombia instead. Floris Maljers proceeded to turn a loss-making subsidiary into a profitable business, and the rest is leadership history.
Read more about Floris and his impressive career via the following Volkskrant and NRC articles: