04 February 2019

A people-over-profit mindset: meet the newest leaders at Ariad

Our leadership understands digital. They know the business needs of their clients. But first, they want to know the people. Meet the new leadership driving change in our digital consultancy and staffing firm.

There has been a palpable energy at Ariad lately. Beyond changing our name, we are expanding our market and growing our team. All of this requires planning, and creating our roadmap for where we want to go. Whether with our own strategy and planning or when working with our clients, one of the most important factors we consider is the people who make up the team, and drive the change. We’d like you to meet two of ours.

"Be willing to be loyal to your purpose rather than your profits."

-Jeroen Geleyn

Jeroen Geleyn joined the Ariad team in late 2018, coming to us from American Express. Jeroen has excelled in large corporate environments, but his experience in startups has given him the freedom to do what excites him most: make change happen, successfully. “I like to build things, I like to design things,” he explains. “I like to to put requirements into something tangible. I like to build beautiful things, in the broad sense of the word.” Few people could hold the unique role of Finance and Operations Director, but Jeroen’s experience building businesses, consulting, advising the family accountancy office and studying commercial engineering with a major in information management make a rare combination that aligns perfectly with the task at hand. Ariad CEO Jeroen Van Ermen agrees. “Jeroen is the rare combination of a strategic thinker who is hands-on, who has a deep understanding of both operations and finance. As we aim to expand to new regions and double our business, he will be a key factor in our success dealing with financial and operational complexity.” Among many objectives, Jeroen will have a major hand in growing Ariad’s consultancy services.

Despite joining Ariad only recently, Jeroen has already affected change in our operations and our environment. His positivity and transparency mesh perfectly with the values we hold and work with every day, and he hopes to further these ideas. Jeroen has said that he wants to continue to build a company where people don’t have to wear masks. “Typically people leave a lot of their potential at home because they think that certain behaviour is desired at work. I used to work in environments where you put on masks because you felt you have to behave a certain way, because you think it’s necessary or the corporate culture requires it. I feel like I don’t need to put on any mask at Ariad, and that’s what I wish for everyone.” Jeroen believes that to build up your business, you must build up your people.

This sentiment is shared by Ariad’s new Sales Director, Wim Cardinaels. Coming to us from Cegeka, Wim’s reputation precedes him in business. He is known for overachieving targets and growing and expanding business. What you may not know is that Wim truly believes that this success comes thanks to his team. As a leader, Wim understands that people with the right ingredients need to also be in the right place, and sometimes finding that place can be a journey. Understanding your people, listening, developing and motivating them are his indispensable keys to success, and he looks forward to working with our team to expand our market in Benelux and start from scratch in Spain--without losing that ideal. “Companies are getting more efficient, they want to grow, but they are forgetting the human touch. I think the challenge is to keep on growing, but still keep this identity, and keep on caring for the people.

“The approach isn’t hard selling, hit and run. It’s about building relationships, that’s what I’ve learned and those are people I gravitate to, relationship builders.”

-Wim Cardinaels

Says Van Ermen, “Our recent growth has lead to the expansion of our sales team, and as an experienced, people-focused manager Wim is without a doubt the best person to lead the team. We’re working to build closer, lasting relationships with our clients; Wim’s philosophies on client management and business practices perfectly align with Ariad’s values.” Wim and Jeroen have known each other for years, and mutually decided that now is the perfect time for Wim to join Ariad. “What ultimately made me decide that I really wanted to become part of this success story and take on the challenge,” explains Wim, “is the perfect match of a truly human-centric approach in the very exciting world of digitalization, transformation and change. Everything is possible, and all the ingredients are here to grow. We can make it a positive adventure, and an adventure it will be.” Alongside Wim is Director of Recruitment, Kyra Goudenhooft. Kyra has been with Ariad for some time, and along with being a motivating, caring leader, Kyra has a deep holistic understanding of how the company needs to evolve as it grows. Wim and Kyra will work closely as a team to determine strategy that drives the entire company forward.

Wim is taking the reins from current Director of Sales, Mathias Lamiroy, founding partner of Ariad. While Mathias is stepping back from his active role, he is enthusiastic about the addition of Jeroen and Wim to the team. He sees them as crucial components as Ariad is now scaling up, and a new kind of experienced leadership will help drive growth and move the company forward. For Mathias, an enthusiastic entrepreneur at heart, Ariad has been the fifth company he has helped launch from scratch. Energized by the challenge of building companies from 0 to 1, he will now look for an exciting idea to make his sixth. After a decade of entrepreneurship, he is also looking forward to getting to focus on his family, which is also in scale-up mode! Though he will be missed around the office, Mathias will remain on Ariad’s board and stay closely connected with the company.

Starting the new year with a new name and some great new team members is a significant change, but it feels natural here. Energy is high in all of our offices. Jeroen Geleyn recognizes this energy as one of the things that attracted him to Ariad. “I’m actually more excited than ever in this company,” he says. “Being at this tipping point and feeling this energy make me, and everyone, more awake.

Pictured above, from left to right: Mathias Lamiroy, Kyra Goudenhooft, Jeroen Van Ermen, Wim Cardinaels, and Jeroen Geleyn.