Saab CEO resigns after ‘three demanding years’

Jan Åke Jonsson has decided to resign as president and CEO of Swedish car maker Saab Automobile, the company announced in a statement on Friday.

Saab CEO resigns after 'three demanding years'

“The last three years have of course been very demanding and forced me to devote my time to one thing – my work. It is now time for me to also spend a little time with other things which have been forced to take a back seat due to my responsibilities at Saab,” Jonsson said.

“I am convinced that Saab Automobile is on the right track,” he added.

Saab’s chairperson, Victor Muller, will assume the responsibilities of the CEO role in the interim period until the AGM is held on May 19th, the firm announced.

The hunt for a new CEO has begun and Jan Åke Jonsson has agreed to continue to assist the running of the firm during a transitional period until September.

Victor Muller, whose firm Spyker Cars took over Saab in 2010, expressed “sadness” that Jonsson had decided to leave the firm which he has served for almost all of his 40 year career.

The announcement came hours after Spyker announced its net losses had

soared last year, to €218 million ($309 million) against €23 million in 2009. Sales for 2010 amounted to €819 million.

The firm sold 31,696 cars in 2010, an increase of 15 percent on 2009.

Spyker acquired Saab from US auto giant General Motors last year hoping to

relaunch the iconic Swedish brand.

Last month Spyker said it planned to sell its original sports cars business, change its name and focus on expanding Saab.

The company has sold an average of 150 luxury Spyker sports cars a year.

Jonsson’s departure comes just two months after Saab replaced its top executive in the United States.

Two weeks ago Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov said he planned to invest some $50 million in Saab to boost its dwindling liquidity.

During the Swedish automakers 20 years under General Motors (GM), Saab never turned a profit.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.