To be President and CEO of a major international airline, in the face of a global economic downturn, fierce competition and environmental challenges, is one of the most demanding corporate leadership positions you can take.
Mats Jansson was President and CEO of the SAS Group, the mother company of Scandinavian Airlines System which is the major airline group in the Nordic region, in the period from January 2007 until September 2010 and he rose extremely successfully to the challenge. He was able to transform SAS from a complex conglomerate of various business units, to a streamlined and significantly more efficient operation, while at the same time maintaining good relations with numerous unions and improving customer confidence and satisfaction. He managed a "cultural turnaround" of the company.
He succeeded in creating a new robust business plan, with full support from three government owners (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) as well as from private shareholders, which made it possible to secure two major rights issues. It is no understatement to say that he saved the company from bankruptcy – even twice.
He managed to do this in parallel to a number of extremely demanding operational events, including a major accident in one daughter company as well as repetitive incidents with the SAS fleet of commuter aircraft.
With his leadership style, based on the principles of always being consistent, straightforward and reliable he gained the respect and confidence of governments, owners, financial institutions, corporate customers and staff. In 2008 he was nominated as one of seven contestants to the title as "The Business Leader of the year" award by European Business Awards based in Paris. He has a reputation as an excellent communicator in relation the media.
During his tenure as President and CEO of SAS he has been member of the governing boards of IATA (International Air Transport Association) and AEA (Association of European Airlines).
Mats Jansson has studied economics and sociology at the University of Örebro. His background is in the field of consumer and business-to-business sectors including retailing, and since 1973 he held several leading positions in listed companies, including as President and CEO of Catena/Bilia from 1994-1999 and President and CEO of the Fazer group from 1999-2000. In 2000 he took up the position as CEO and President of Axfood, and from 2005 he was Chairman of this company. In 2005 he was appointed President and CEO of Axel Johnson AB. He has been instrumental in restructuring and turning around major businesses in the Nordic region and in Europe.
Mats Jansson is currently member of the board of Den Danske Bank, Falck A/S and Senior Advisor at Prime.
Mats Jansson was born in 1951 in Kolsva, central Sweden. He attaches a strong importance to his family. He is married to Karin and they have four daughters.