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New Chair of the Board

Søren Vilby is the new Chair of the Board at SDU

The 57-year-old businessman Søren Vilby is to become the new Chair of the Board at the University of Southern Denmark and will lead the University’s strategic work for the next four years.

SDU has found its forthcoming Chair of the Board. Søren Vilby, CEO of Micro Matic and current Board member at SDU, takes the helm as Chair after Niels Thorborg.

A task he is very much looking forward to.

- I’m delighted about the opportunity, and it’s going to be a very exciting task for me and the Board along with the rest of the organisation. It was a relatively easy and natural decision for me to seek the post as Chair, as I have had good experiences with SDU since I joined the board 3½ years ago. In my view, SDU is a well-run university, which is developing positively for the future, too.

Great knowledge of SDU

Søren Vilby has an in-depth knowledge of the University through his extensive business experience.

- I have had knowledge of and been associated with SDU over many years – both as an external examiner at the University and through my roles in business, and I have always believed that close collaboration between the University and industry can be mutually beneficial. Companies win when they are exposed to the high academic level and the new knowledge and, of course, as the employers of many of SDU’s graduates. That’s why I rightly feel that I have something to contribute and look forward to taking up the position.

He stresses that going forward the key to a well-run SDU will be the close collaboration between the Board and management. And that he wants to continue the course already set by the Board and management, including in the recent years with Niels Thorborg as Chair.

- I believe in the line that has already been established, and I have been involved in all the discussions with the management and deans in recent years, so I won’t try to revolutionise the way the University is run. But times are changing, and there are several challenges in store for the sector, which we need to anticipate and manoeuvre within, for example, with demographic development and policy frameworks.

The Rector is delighted

Jens Ringsmose, Rector of SDU, is very satisfied with the choice of Søren Vilby as the new Chair and at the same time praises Niels Thorborg for his efforts.

- I am very pleased that it will be Søren Vilby. He has sat on the Board since 2018, has considerable management experience and he has an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of the University. It is a strong choice to take over from Niels Thorborg, who has been a very competent and visionary Chair, he says and goes on:

- I look forward to the collaboration, and I am convinced that Søren, with his vision and great ambition, will help ensure that SDU will continue to be an international class university with the highest quality and professionalism in research and education.

Just the right match

Birthe Friis Mortensen, who chairs the appointing body that appointed the new Chair, explains that Søren Vilby possesses all the necessary qualities for the post. She stresses that the new Chair was chosen from a highly qualified field of applicants.

- The Committee has established and believes that Søren Vilby has fully documented experience with organising, strategy and top management. He has a strong and genuine interest in working with the management at SDU to help shape the University’s development in the coming years. It was important that he was familiar with SDU’s work and at the same time understands the opportunities and challenges within the sector, says Birthe Friis Mortensen.

Søren Vilby takes over the post of Chair of the Board in January 2023 from Niels Thorborg, who steps down after having served on the Board for the maximum two periods permitted by the University Act.

Curriculum Vitae

Søren Vilby

Born 1965

Married to Louise Vilby, 3 adult daughters

Work experience

2008– : CEO, Micro Matic A/S

2006–2008: CEO, Senmatic A/S

1995–2006: Leading positions in the Roulunds group (A.P. Moller – Maersk) in Denmark and UK

1992–1995: Deloitte Corporate Finance, Copenhagen and London

1989–1992: Hafnia Merchant Bank

1988–1989: Inventor Venture


1991: Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, Finance

1988: MSc, International Marketing

Other honorary offices

Honorary Consul, Finland

Chair of the Board

University of Southern Denmark

Epoke A/S

Gertsen & Olufsen A/S

Mountain Top Industries A/S

Board member

Nissens A/S


Editing was completed: 09.01.2023