Sandvik CEO leaves company to lead Swiss ABB’s overhaul

At Sandvik, Rosengren identified measuring technology and 3-D printing as two areas for expansion. (Image courtesy of Sandvick |YouTube.)

Sandvik’s (STO: SAND) chief executive officer, Bjorn Rosengren, is leaving the Swedish mining equipment maker in November to lead Swiss engineering giant ABB (SWX: ABBN), which is in the midst of a major overhaul that would leave it more focused on robotics and automation. 

Rosengren age 60, spent the last four years at Sandvik’s helm implementing a plan to decentralize it in order to make it more efficient and flexible. He will assume the new top post at ABB in February, taking over from chairman Peter Voser, who has been acting as interim CEO since Ulrich Spiesshofer abruptly stepped down in April amid pressure from major investors.


ABB has locked Rosengren into a minimum five-year contract, the company said. Prior to his Sandvik time, he headed Wartsila Corporation, which makes power systems for the marine and power generation markets.

The Swiss engineer spent his formative years at Atlas Copco, a mining solutions provider known by its culture of manager responsibility and asset-light production, which has been emulated at other Nordic companies. 

Activist investor Cevian Capital, ABB’s second-largest shareholder with a 5.3% stake, said it fully supported the appointment of Rosengren. The investment firm had been critical of ABB’s complicated structure and had campaigned for a separation of its power grids division, which is now being sold to Hitachi Ltd. for about $6.4 billion. Sandvik chairman, Johan Molin, said the company would embark on the hunt for a new CEO.

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