Jan Carlzon is former president and CEO of the Scandinavian Airlines Group. 1996 he co-founded the scandinavian venture capital organization Ledstiernan, where he today is chairman. Through Ledstiernan Jan Carlzon is directly and indirectly involved in more than 20 emerging companies, the majority in the IT-sector. Carlzon has spelled out his management and staff motivation philosophies in the best-selling book, “Moments of Truth”, which has been translated into 18 languages.
Jan Carlzon is probably best known as a turn-around specialist who has returned four companies to profitability. In 1996 Jan Carlzon, together with his partner Karl Stockman, acquired the fashion retail company Polarn & Pyret, as well as a number of other investments. Polarn & Pyret was later merged with another fashion company partly owned by the founding partners of Ledstiernan AB, later listed as Retail and Brands. After a reconstruction of RnB the profitability of the company as well as the market cap substantially increased.
In 1967, Jan Carlzon joined Vingresor, one of Europe's largest tour operators and became CEO of the company in 1974. In less than one year he turned the troubled company back into profit. After taking the reins at the loss making Swedish domestic airline, Linjeflyg, in 1978, he returned the company to profit before moving to SAS as President and CEO in 1981. He rapidly turned SAS into a moneymaker and customer favourite when he took the helm and he was a pioneer with his radical views on free competition within the European airline industry.
The three turnarounds of the airlines were orchestrated during a period of eight years, and were all made by applying totally different strategies and business models related to the different situations of the three companies.
In 2006 Jan Carlzon was elected as Chairman of Företagarna, which is the largest non-political organization for business owners in Sweden.
Jan Carlzon is since 1999 a member of the board of the International Tennis Federation and has until recently been the President of the Swedish Tennis Federation. He holds honorary doctorates from Pepperdine University in California and Pacific Lutheran in Washington. He is a commander with Star of Royal Norwegian order of Merit and was awarded H.M. the King of Sweden's Medal of the 12th dimension with the ribbon of the order of the seraphim.
Jan Carlzon was born in 1941 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden.