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Jan Widerström

Jan Widerström, president and MD of Saab

Jan Widerström, president and MD of Saab

9th June 2023

     

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Full Name: Jan Widerström

Position and Company Name: President and MD at Saab

Main Activity of the Company: Saab manufactures and develops integrated electronic self-protection systems. The company offers sensor technology, radar, laser warning and training systems, as well as avionics and security and support solutions to clients around the world

Date and Place of Birth: 1969, Sweden

Schools and Tertiary Education: I have an engineering background, supported by additional qualifications in economics and marketing

First Job: My first job was as an electrical service engineer in the process industry

Career Path to Date: I have worked for nearly three decades in the defence industry in roles spanning engineering, sales and marketing, business development, strategic procurement, and programme management around the world. Since 2005, I have been an integral part of Saab, where, prior to my current role, I served as deputy head of Electronic Warfare and Aircraft Systems, a business unit within the Surveillance division

Number of People under Your Leadership: 400

Management Style: I follow an open-door policy, where members of my team know they can approach me at any time. Additionally, I frequently walk around the office and engage with everyone, building strong professional relationships that ultimately help me to be a better leader

Personal Best Achievement: Watching my children graduate from school and seeing them begin to make a mark in the real world. I’m also excited to be part of Saab’s growth journey in creating the necessary pillars for a sustainable and long-lasting business with the help of everyone at the company

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: Having left home early in life, I learned to be self-sufficient and not dependent on any one individual. However, I believe in being receptive and open to advice from others to broaden my knowledge, while also asking if things can be done differently in pursuit of efficiency. My family influences me quite a lot

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: I have benefited from numerous exceptional managers and mentors who shared their knowledge and expertise. Instead of aiming solely for career advancement, my focus has always been on performing my job to the best of my ability, trusting that career growth will naturally follow

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: It would be an incredible honour to meet the Dalai Lama again, and I wish I had met the late Nelson Mandela

Philosophy of Life: Listen, think, and think again, then act!

Hope for the Future: Given the current situation in the world, optimism for the future might seem futile. However, I maintain an unwavering hope that we can collectively return to a world based on the values of cooperation and shared democratic principles. To attain a better future, it’s important that we stand against corrupt, as well as oppressive, authoritarian leaders, and that we encourage more collaboration, fairness and social equity

Favourite Reading: Wildlife and hunting magazines

Favourite TV Programme: I’m not a frequent TV viewer, but when I do watch TV, I always gravitate towards programmes that explore our planet and wildlife

Favourite Food/Drink:

One of the many delights of moving to South Africa is undoubtedly the opportunity to savour some of the most excellent wines. I enjoy both fish and meat. The South African braai is also a must

Favourite Music: I listen to a wide range of music

Favourite Sport: Football – having both played and coached for many years

Hobbies: Golf, hunting, 4 × 4 driving, sailing and spending time in my summer house in Sweden

Car: A Nissan Patrol that has been modified to “climb mountains”

Pets: None, but I am looking forward to getting a dog when I have time

Married: To Liselott Widerström

Children: Sofie, 25; Tim, 18

Clubs: Golf and hunting clubs

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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