Candidate Statement - Bente Franck-Sætervoll

Bente Franck-Sætervoll – Den norske Bokdatabasen AS

Background and relevant experience

In my role as CEO for the main Norwegian eBook distributor Den norske Bokdatabasen AS (Bokbasen) I am facing the strategic challenges of the book industry on a daily basis. Bokbasens shareholders include both the largest book retailers and the largest publishers in the country and they all look to us to provide them with competence and development ideas to drive the Norwegian eBook market forward. Participating in the Readium Foundation to support the development of EPUB3 reader technology is one example of how we carry out our role as the Norwegian eBook development hub.

My previous experience includes business development positions in the European newspaper industry in a period when that industry was undergoing the major print-to-digital revolution. My job as Business Development director of Mecom Europe brought me to Denmark, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands besides Norway, but the challenges in all markets were similar. The competence gained from these projects are very valuable to me in my current work in the book industry and particularly in my efforts to promote the benefits of adopting new technology as early as possible even when you are the incumbent. 

I have also worked in management roles on several large M&A transactions both in media and other industries, and I believe this combination of media strategy and corporate finance experience can be of use to the Readium Foundation should I be elected to the board. 

My formal background includes a MBA-degree from the French business school, INSEAD.

Thoughts on the further development of the Readium Foundation

It is in Bokbasens interest to see the commercial launch of the Readium SDK for all relevant platforms as soon as possible. I will therefore promote this as the first priority and main focus of the Foundation should I become a board member.  Continuous improvements and maintenance of the SDK after “completion” is also included in this.

However, I also believe that the great value of having brought all the different industry players together in this Foundation should be leveraged to accomplish much more than just completing the SDK. It will therefore be the board’s responsibility to ensure that we are able to prioritize between all the worthy projects that are suggested or even ongoing to make sure that we can actually support them to completion in a sound way given the limited resources that are available.