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Yesterday Jan Åke Jonsson officially ended as chief executive of Saab Automobile.No permanent replacement has yet been appointed, but so far until then Victor Muller will take over the CEO post, while he still continues as chairman.
On 25 March, the press released that Jan Åke Jonsson ends after six years as CEO of Saab.
– I started a dialogue with Muller at the end of last year about this, so there is no sudden decision, “said Jan Åke Jonsson just an hour after the news was released.
After that, the liquidity problems became public and production was stopped on April 7. Jan Åke Jonsson, has since then not given any more interviews and would not say anything before his last day at the company. He has also taken a lot of holidays lately, but was together with Victor Muller on the first trip to China to find a new partner and get capital into the company.
Last Tuesday Jan Åke Jonsson was thanked by Saab executives with a dinner in Trollhättan. And on Wednesday evening Spyker’s management together with Victor Muller had a dinner for him in Holland.
It has been six tough years as CEO for Jan Åke Jonsson. During one period last year, when Saab was put into liquidation, he got stripped on his powers. Then it became clear that Spyker would buy Saab Automobile and he could continue his mission. He has been with the company since 1973.
– Jan Åke Jonsson has been a solid rock in the storm that has lasted since the end of 2008, says production director Gunnar Brunius.
He has an understanding from his former CEO’s decisions.
– We must respect each individual’s decision to do something else in life. The job may not have been 24 hours a day, but almost, and every Saturday and Sunday.
Gunnar Brunius has worked for 30 years with Saab and he understands that Jan Åke Jonsson did not want to give any interview at the moment.
– Now its Victor Muller who is the focus and the one who can decide about the future.
Saab’s head of technical development, Mats Fägerhag, was working in Germany when Jan Åke Jonsson succeeded Peter Augustsson as CEO.
– During that period we had a lot to do with each other. Also Jan Åke Jonsson had worked abroad on GM’s behalf, but the first time I saw him was at the beginning of the 1990 when he was a quality manager.
Fägerhag think that Saab’s management team will perform well even without a permanent CEO for a while.
– We are a fairly homogeneous group and the rest of us must step up a little extra when Victor Muller is out on his travels, he says