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.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

For every CEO there is a season

To everything there is a season. Even Jan Åke Jonsson's work at Saab. He has worked 40 years at Saab and six years as CEO. His six years as CEO turned out to be six very different years than he and everybody else could have imagined. Instead of running a car producing company, he ended up being involved in a reconstruction (more or less a chapter 11 reorganization), a sales process, a wind-down process, a sale, a starting up process and building up an independent company. Nearly everything besides producing cars. Of course Saab has also produced and sold cars under Jan Åke Jonsson, but the hours he spent focusing and concentrating on producing cars must have been very limited. There is no doubt that Jan Åke Jonsson is a big reason Saab is still alive today. His contribution can not be overstated. But the paradox is that we don't really know how good he is as a CEO of a company focusing on one thing only, developing and producing cars.

Maybe Jan Åke Jonsson's task was supposed to be to "save" Saab. And now a new season has come, a time for a new CEO to show us what he or she can do for Saab. So in a bizarre way, maybe it is a good thing that Jan Åke Jonsson retires.

The weeks to come there will be many possible CEOs presented by blogs, news media, so called business and car industry experts and Saab fans. I have already pointed my finger towards one man I feel could be a candidate for new CEO. But in the end the decision is in the hands of Spyker Cars' board of directors.  

Thank you Jan Åke Jonsson, and welcome to a new CEO whomever it may be!