Today saw the grand opening of a new LEGO main office. Located in London, it becomes the fifth LEGO main office worldwide, with the others situated in Shanghai, Singapore, Enfield CT and of course Billund.
Located over 4 floors of a newly renovated office building in the heart of London, the new hub will introduce LEGO employees to a new way of working based on a concept known as “Activity Based Working” where no employee however senior has their own desk and where employee activities during the working day determine where they're based rather than which department they’re in. The new office currently houses around 120 employees, rising to 200+ in 2015, and it’s been in use for around a month now; today saw the official opening ceremony. Ambassadors from UK LUGs including the Brickish Association and Brickset, along with other partners, members of the press, and LEGO employees, were invited along to witness the opening ceremony.
LEGO Chief Operating Officer Bali Padda kicked off proceedings by welcoming attendees and talking about the new office and the innovative way of working that it will bring. He then handed over the baton to Jørgen Vig Knudstorp (above), Chief Executive Officer of the company, who spoke about how the new London office would help the LEGO Group to deliver their vision of bringing creative play experiences to children everywhere. Jørgen was then joined on stage by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, company owner and grandson of LEGO founder Ole Kirk Christiansen, for an official ribbon cutting ceremony with a twist (below) – both ribbon and scissors were brick-built! Once the ceremony was over, Jørgen took to the stage once more to deliver a 15-20 minute presentation where he talked about the essence of the LEGO brand and outlined the LEGO strategy.
The formal part of proceedings over, some of the Ambassadors had to get back to the Brick 2014 show leaving a few of us to meet and chat with a selection of LEGO senior management. Conny Kalcher, Vice President for Marketing and Consumer Experiences, Bali Padda, and Fiona Wright, Vice President and General Manager LEGO UK each took a turn in the hot seat, with topics discussed including the LEGO view of AFOLs, why LEGO don’t advertise their AFOL-focused products more, quality control at new LEGO factories, and how LEGO can work together with the AFOL community.
Overall it was an interesting event. The new office looks spectacular, with a variety of spaces to suit different working styles, and having a main hub in London will do LEGO no harm at all in their quest to attract and retain top talent. Thanks are due to Keith Severson from the LEGO CEE Team for securing invitations for the Ambassadors and for helping to set up meetings with some key LEGO personnel.