Alumni of the Week

Mr French Connection

Eric Rivelsrud


Commercial Director

Parfums Christian Dior

Bachelor of International Marketing 2007

“My career has evolved around agility. Being agile has helped me adapt relatively quickly to new situations, and focus on things that matter. ”

From the mass market to the premium market. Eric Rivelsrud’s mission is to strengthen Dior’s brand in Norway.

Text: Anna Olausson
Photo: Marte Garmann

You have a career behind you at Procter & Gamble, an American company. What’s the biggest difference when working for a French company?
There are some obvious cultural differences, but personally, the biggest difference was leaving the mass market of shampoo and batteries for the premium world of fashion and cosmetics.

Although a well-known brand, what is the biggest challenge for Christian Dior?
Globally, the biggest challenge for traditional brands is to meet the continuously increasing competition from new digital brands. This is forcing us to stay alert, keep innovating and work closely with our retailers, to ensure we give the consumer the best shopping experience.

What is the most satisfying with the industry?
Working for a great brand like Dior is a privilege. Our motivation is to build on our long-standing heritage of making, primarily women, all over the world, look and feel great.

What does a Commercial Director do?
I am responsible for the strategic direction and the future of Dior in Norway, but at the same time I need to be aware of operational details and day-to-day business. My role is very comprehensive. I can be in Paris one day, discussing our long-term strategy with the European Top management, and spend the next in Bodø, installing furniture and loading shelves before the opening of a new store.

After 10 years in marketing, what skills have you acquired?
I have had various roles that have helped me gain a good overall understanding of business and leadership. I have also learned extensive selling and negotiation skills through tough negotiations. And in my latest positions, I have broadened my understanding of different business environments and cultures.

Does your career follow a pattern?
My career has evolved around agility. Being agile has helped me adapt relatively quickly to new situations, and focus on things that matter. A great manager once taught me to always try to see the landscape through the eyes of the consumer, and in my view, that makes for good decision making.