IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jan Åke Jonsson: My retirement is no sudden decision

Trollhättan newspaper TTELA has spoken with Jan Åke Jonsson about his retirement. There seems to be no drama behind his decision to leave. On the contrary, his retirement has been in the planning for several months. Here's a translation of the interview:

Jonsson: "This was no sudden decision"
Jonsson resigns as CEO of Saab Automobile.

 - I started a dialogue with Muller at the end of last year about this, so this is no sudden decision," says Jan Åke Jonsson when TTELA meets him outside Saab's main port.

The sun is shining and Jonsson looks pretty happy. Just two hours earlier the press release on his departure was released.

- In business terms, there were lots of work in 2010, says Jan Åke Jonsson.

It is with mixed feelings he leaves the company he has worked for so long.

- In June it is 40 years, if I remember correctly, he says smiling.

Until September, he will remain with the company. The recruitment of a successor began already last year, when he revealed his plans for the business owner Victor Muller.

Jan Åke Jonsson is so heavily associated with Saab that the Spyker share immediately fell 3.2 percent on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange on Friday morning when news of the departure of Saab’s CEO became known.

- Oops, I did not know that, but it is clear that we were going through a tough period and we worked hard to survive," says Jan-Åke Jonsson.

 He thinks this is the right time to leave the company now and he sees a bright future for Saab.

 The work he did to save Saab was very tiresome and now he will concentrate on other things than work.

On Friday, he had just finished an interview with the radio and was heading for a telephone press conference about the company's annual accounts.

 - We had one earlier in the morning with the international media and of course there were some questions about my departure.

 He says thank you for the interview with a strong handshake and goes with firm steps towards the office building where he will answer more questions about his decision to leave the CEO seat.