Jetsetting With Davidoff CEO Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard
Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, president and chief executive officer of Swiss luxury tobacco goods company, the Oettinger Davidoff Group, has 25 years experience in consumer goods, including 15 years in luxury goods. He lived and worked in Asia for 10 years; spent another decade in Italy, France, and Denmark; and lived for three years in the United States. Hoejsgaard is fluent in English, French, and Danish—and knows a bit of German, Norwegian, and Swedish, too. Suffice it to say, the Davidoff CEO is well versed in travel, as well as where and how to enjoy a cigar. Jetset Extra jumped at the opportunity to tap into his wealth of jet setting knowledge.
Q: What is your personal favorite type of cigar and why?
A: My personal favorite cigar always depends on the occasion and of course it has to do with the time of the day. I usually smoke lighter in the morning than I would after dinner.
Q: Where is your favorite destination to enjoy a cigar?
A: Whenever I share a cigar with friends or celebrate something, it is more important to me who I am with than where I am.
Q: What type of traveler are you? (ie: adventurer, cultural explorer, free spirit, rejuvenator, spa aficionado, etc.)
A: I like all of the mentioned travel styles, but again it depends on the occasion and the purpose of the travel.
Q: What types of activities do you like to do on your travels? Do you look for a place where it’s quiet and you can relax, or someplace that has great activities or nightlife?
A: I would include all of the above. I like cultural exploration and I am a big fan of the spa so all of these.
Q: And what, if any, research do you do about that destination?
A: Yes, I always do research about a destination. Research in advance is fundamental when I prepare a private trip.
Q: What is the most memorable trip you’ve taken and why?
A: I had many memorable trips, but a recent one to Argentina was memorable because I thought the country had fantastic diversity, from the ice glaciers in the south to the waterfalls of Iguaçu and from the jungle to the wine area in Mendoza. That was very impressive.
Q: What is the best food find you’ve ever found on a trip?
A: Definitely while traveling through Asia with the different Asian cuisines. They are wonderful.
Q: What, if anything, do you always take with you when you travel?
A: My Amazon Kindle with lots of books downloaded.
Q: What’s your best piece of travel advice?
A: Be curious and understand that your way is not the only way.
Q: Is there a destination to where you can’t imagine not returning?
A: New York.
Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
Q: Where would you like to travel next? Tell us about your upcoming project(s)?
A: My next big personal travel and upcoming project will be a trip to New Zealand.
Q: How many types of cigars does Davidoff produce?
A: Generally we separate the Davidoff brand into the following product categories: 1) Davidoff Super Premium Long Filler Handmade Cigars (40 cigars), 2) Super Premium Handmade Short Filler Cigars (3 cigars), and 3) Super Premium Machine Made Short Filler Cigars (6 cigars). In addition, we create special Duty Free cigars (2) and a Limited Edition each year.
Q: How does a person choose a cigar? Are they specific to different occasions?
A: Our studies reflect that time at a person’s disposal, as well as habits, circumstances, loyalty, image, quality, constancy, and availability determine strength, shape, size, aroma, flavor, origin, and brand of a cigar. Each person combines very individual needs and expectations with a specific characteristic of the cigar.
Q: What is the best way to keep cigars fresh and safe during travel?
A: It depends on how long you need to keep cigars fresh. For a short trip I would rather recommend a leather case or etui that unfortunately only protects the cigars from damages but doesn’t keep them fresh. On a long journey the best way is using a Davidoff or Zino travel humidor with an installed humidification system that guarantees a constant level of humidity. By the time you choose to enjoy your cigar you’ll get the best pleasure, enjoyment, and relaxation.
Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard’s Bio:
Born into a Danish family that once sold tobacco products, Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard has made a career in luxury goods, landing the position as president and CEO of the Oettinger Davidoff Group in 2011. Hoejsgaard has also held top spots at companies including Timex Group BV, Georg Jensen, and Seagram’s. The CEO was educated at Harvard Business School, INSEAD, and Wharton and has an honorary degree from Southern Denmark Business School. He has been an advisory board member of Master in Experience Leadership at Roskilde University in Denmark since 2006 and is the co-author of “Experience Leadership in Practice.” Hoejsgaard enjoys cooking, golf, interior design, modern art, reading (especially history and politics), tennis, and wine.