Although Wallenberg’s role was expected to change as he is scheduled to become Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce next year, the news that he is to step down as managing director comes as something of a surprise. The decision comes in conjunction with the proposal that he become Chairman of SEB.
“After six intensive years as President and CEO – and against the background of my proposed chairmanship of SEB – it is a natural step for me to hand over Investor to a new CEO. Investor has developed strongly over the past two years and has a solid financial position today,” Marcus Wallenberg said in a press statement today.
Wallenberg, who turns fifty next year and has headed the company since 1997, is to be replaced by Börje Ekholm on 1 September, 2005.
Ekholm, 42, has been employed by Investor since 1992. He has been Executive Vice President and Head of the New Investments business area since 2000 and is currently a director on the boards of several of Investor’s holdings, including WM-data in Sweden and Tessera Technologies, Inc. in the U.S.
“I am excited about taking over the leadership of Investor and I feel confident about taking the company forward. Investor is well positioned to successfully develop companies and generate long-term attractive returns for shareholders,” says Börje Ekholm.
The appointment of Ekholm comes as no real surprise. Like Wallenberg, Ekholm is a diplomatic businessman known for his cautious approach.