Staffan Jufors – Leader of the Year for 2002

Staffan Jufors, President of Volvo Penta has been named “Leader of the Year” by the Swedish business weekly, Affärsvärlden. Staffan Jufors was selected for the award for his excellent leadership of Volvo Penta over the past four years.
This is the first time ever that a Volvo executive has received the prestigious award. Previous recipients of the award include Stefan Persson, of Hennes & Mauritz, and Carl-Henric Svanberg, of Assa Abloy.

“I am very pleased about this award, which I view as a token of recognition, not just for me personally but also for the fantastic effort by Volvo Penta’s employees,” says Staffan Jufors.

Staffan Jufors has been President of Volvo Penta since 1998, during which time the company has undergone a dramatic transformation. Since 1998, net sales have doubled. Operating expenses, however, have remained at the same level as four years ago.

This has helped turn Volvo Penta around from a loss to record-high profits.

“For me, there’s nothing strange about it. We have successfully enhanced our efficiency and reprioritized so that our resources are used to maximize the value for the customer,” says Staffan Jufors.

Double the amount of product development
Capacity has been created for substantial investments in future products. Under the leadership of Staffan Jufors, product development has been doubled.

“Here, too, it’s a matter of creating value. We have been successful in strengthening our positions in the market because our products have created added value for our customers,” says Staffan Jufors.

The most recent Vara engine model is an example of this type of product. Launched last year for pleasure boats, it was an immediate success. The predecessor to the KAD300 is still available on the market at a lower price. And yet, customers have not wanted to forego the many advantages of the KAD300.

Volvo’s strength
Being part of Volvo is, according to Staffan Jufors, a key strength factor for Volvo Penta. The Group’s large volumes, its combined expertise in diesel engines, and its strong product program contribute in large measure to Volvo Penta’s success.

Volvo Penta has endeavoured to gain advantages from the opportunities for synergies that Volvo offers in other areas, too.

“The successful transformation of our European organization is a good example of how we have used Volvo’s back-office functions to free up personnel to focus more on the market and on customers.”

Not only the customers seem pleased with Volvo Penta’s transformation: the employees are on board, too. Results from Volvo Attitude Surveys conducted over the past few years show that Volvo Penta employees rate their work situation highly.

Fast and profitable
Staffan Jufors does not subscribe to any particular leadership philosophy. However, two of his prominent characteristics are decisiveness and a strong will. He feels it is important to reach a decision quickly and then stick to what was said.

Moreover, all undertakings must become profitable as soon as possible.

“When a project is started, it is tempting to try to resolve all conceivable problems in a single ‘super-solution.’ However, you then risk taking on too much and incurring delays. We try to decide what it is we want to achieve, define the problem, and start working on it as soon as possible,” says Staffan Jufors.

“Sometimes things don’t work out, of course, but you have to be prepared to accept that. This is better than nothing happening at all,” says Staffan Jufors