Getinge ousts CEO

Medical technology group Getinge has fired its chief executive Alex Myers after just 18 months on the job. Joacim Lindoff, head of the Surgical Workflows division, has been appointed as acting CEO.

Under Alex Myers’ leadership, Getting has failed to meet analysts’ forecasts, and the group’s shares have fallen by 21.5% so far this year. By comparison, the OMXS30 large cap index has fallen 3%.

Myers attempts to centralise the company structure and to hire McKinsey management consultants failed to impress chairman Carl Bennet who prefers a decentralised structure and who is of the opinion that it is the executives and employees in a company that should drive change, not consultants.

Tech companies facing lay offs

 

After network hardware giant Cisco last week announced plans to lay off 5,500 employees (ed.), Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research, raised his estimate on the number of lay offs in the US tech industry to 370,000 this year and said there was more pain to come.

The Swedish tech industry in Kista is close to the eye of the storm, as many of the established companies have businesses in markets that are not longer expanding, Jan Dworsky, strategist at Handelsbanken, has since told DN, describing how companies such as Google are taking market share from the likes of Nokia.

“As companies become large, it becomes hard to maintain the culture of innovation and dynamism in the company. It’s more about taking care of what you have created,” he said.

Meanwhile, Per Norlander, union negotiator at Ericsson, expects the telecom giant’s ongoing savings package to be extensive; just how many of the company’s 16,000 employees in Sweden will be affected is hard to assess

Moderates promise to sell state firms

The Moderate Party has now made it clear that it plans to try and sell off more state companies if it wins the 2018 election. It has already singled out Telia, SAS and SBAB as objects for sale. Lars Hjälmered, party spokesperson for enterprise, says, “We do not consider the state to have a role to play in these companies.”

He is also critical of how Mikael Damberg, minister for enterprise and innovation, is dealing with the issue: “It is a very worrying situation that is being handled precariously. If you compare Mikael Damberg’s talk during the election campaign with how he has then managed the companies, there is a huge discrepancy.”

In particular he is critical of the extra dividends the state has extracted; SKr 6.5 billion from Akademiska Hus, the academic property company, and SKr 1.7 billion from SJ, the rail operator. “Of course that has an effect on the railways and the potential to build student accommodation. And they did that because of the desperation they have as a result of increasing costs for immigration and sick absences,” he says.

Handelsbanken CEO: “Didn’t meet the mark”

After Handelsbanken’s CEO Frank Vang-Jensen was unexpectedly fired yesterday following only 17 months in the post, chair Pär Boman addressed a press conference to answer why.

The main issue was the bank’s decentralised business model with strong and self-sufficient branches. “Being in charge of Handelsbanken and leading other self-sufficient managers is a very different kind of leadership compared to many other companies,” he said.

Frank Vang-Jensen, as well as planning to reduce the number of branches from 463 to 400, tried to centralise the bank’s operations more than local branch managers could accept. Boman also said, “Frank quite simply didn’t meet the mark to be CEO at Handelsbanken.”

Anders Bouvin, with over 30 years of experience at Handelsbanken, is taking over as CEO.

New CEO for Handelsbanken

Handelsbanken’s CEO Frank Vang-Jensen has been fired. In a press release this morning, the board of the bank said, “a change of CEO ought to take place now”. Chair Pär Boman continued, “The decision is only a question of the individual. Handelsbanken remains strong and our long-term goals are still in place.”

Vang-Jensen has been CEO since March 2015 when he took over from Pär Boman who became chair. Pär Boman says Vang-Jensen’s style of leadership does not match Handelsbanken’s “very decentralised way of working”.

Uncertainty ahead

Anna Bremen, chief economist at Swedbank, has said that growth in the Swedish economy remains healthy, but for it to remain so the labour market must continue to display strong growth. She expects the economy to slow more clearly in 2017 and 2018.

Both she and SBAB chief economist Tor Borg point out that low interest rates and rising property prices have fuelled consumption and investment. Many consumers have money to spend, which has resulted in a boom for Sweden’s restaurant business; sales in the industry rose 5.1 per cent in June. Dark clouds are looming on the horizon, however.

“Uncertainty lies ahead in that there is a general concern in the outside world that may spread,” says Anna Bremen, naming Brexit, the US presidential election, the military coup in Turkey and this summer’s terror attacks in Europe, all of which can curb investment and consumption.

Replacing Sweden’s Hercules fleet

 

The Swedish Air Force’s ageing fleet of six Hercules aircraft desperately needs an upgrade; otherwise the planes will be grounded.

However, the government has yet to make a decision. In the meantime, the Air Force is looking at new aircraft. “We need a plane for tactical transport. For example, we need to be able to move troops, defence equipment and be able to strengthen capabilities (ed.) on Gotland quickly. Since we need the new planes by around 2024, a decision needs to be made soon,” says Mats Helgesson, the Swedish Air Force Chief of Staff.

One of the most interesting alternatives comes from Embraer, Saab’s Brazilian partner.

Discontent over PostNord

In a series of articles SvD has reported on postal operator PostNord’s falling revenues and inferior quality. Many readers have since contacted the paper expressing their annoyance over the operator’s poor service; one reader has told of how the operator failed to deliver an invoice from the Transport Administration in time and how he had to pay a fine of 500 kronor as a result, while others testify to the way in which letters are delivered to the wrong address, or fail to be delivered at all, and of PostNord’s indifference when they complain.

Employment Service living on credit

 

Sweden’s Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) has used up its SKr 1.4 billion budget for the establishment of new arrivals and will have to live on credit for the rest of the year.

“We have a credit facility of SKr 100 million, which we have already started to use, and we have already estimated that the entire facility will be used. It’s going to be a tough autumn, and it’s going to be tough to meet our remit,” Fredrik Modigh, the agency’s chief economist, has said.

Swedish companies see potential in Turkey

Although the situation in Turkey remains tense, Swedish companies continue to carry out business in the country.

“The perception we have is that Swedish companies still consider there to be good potential on the Turkish market,” says Erik Friberg, Business Sweden’s trade secretary in Turkey. His comment is based on a survey Business Sweden is carrying out, asking 100 Swedish companies active in Turkey about their perception of the business climate there. The study is still underway but over half of the companies have answered Business Sweden’s questions.

Cash handling firm Loomis, which operates in Turkey, experienced concern after the attempted coup but CEO, Patrik Andersson, says, “As we are responsible for many cash machines, we in fact had greater demand during those days.”