24 Aug August 24, 2020 – Volvo’s former CEO Pehr Gyllenhammar
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Pehr Gyllenhammar – Former CEO of Volvo and Author of Character is Destiny
We had the longest life of any car manufacturer in the world
when I was boss. The average age of a Volvo was 20 years old,
or easily 30 years.
Pehr Gyllenhammar is a Swedish businessman, mainly known for his 24 years as CEO and chairman of Volvo. Mr. Gyllenhammar was Managing Director and Chief Executive of Skandia Insurance Company, then became the CEO of Volvo when just 35 years old. His 24-year tenure leading the company was a historic and groundbreaking era in Volvo’s history. When he became Volvo’s CEO in 1971, he completely redesigned the company’s plants and assembly methods to prioritize the health and wellbeing of the workers. He addressed the first global environmental convocation, the 1972 UN environmental conference, and made a public commitment to make Volvo more environmentally friendly. To protest the regime of apartheid, he closed Volvo’s Durban plant in South Africa in 1976, one of the first CEOs to divest. In addition to transforming Volvo, Gyllenhammar directly shaped industry in Europe, creating the European Roundtable of Industrialists, which conceived of and implemented major infrastructural improvements such as the France-England Channel Tunnel. Pehr’s upcoming book, Character is Destiny: Reflections on Innovation and Integrity from Volvo’s Longest Serving CEO, provides a rare and unique glimpse into Pehr Gyllenhammar’s professional triumphs and failures.