Excellent leadership is a top priority at Atlas Copco, and a key success factor. The corporate culture supports innovation, diversity, knowledge sharing and personal development. This has led to a stable supply of leaders, and a number of managers have also been recruited for president and CEO roles in other companies.
Atlas Copco has a strong belief in entrusting individuals with responsibility and encouraging them to take the initiative, develop and grow. Mobility is one of the means to accomplishing this. Atlas Copco has a dynamic internal job market, where every job opportunity is offered to any qualified employee worldwide.
Development opportunities such as training and the chance to move across national and competence borders, between business areas, countries and functions, encourages growth on both a personal and a professional level. With business in more than 180 countries, the field is wide open for new experiences.
A decentralized organizational structure, with global and independent divisions, also contributes to developing leaders. The divisional presidents take full global profit and loss responsibility for the company’s highest operational activities, and get plenty of practice as “CEOs in training”.
These factors combined have resulted in many managers being formed and promoted over the years. A shining example is Atlas Copco’s current President and CEO, Mats Rahmström, who joined the company in 1988. Rahmström held positions in sales, service, marketing and general management in Sweden, Canada and the United Kingdom before becoming divisional president and then president of the Industrial Technique business area. In April 2017, he became President and CEO of the entire Group.
Another recent example is Vagner Rego, who since August 2017 is President of the Compressor Technique business area and a member of Group Management. His journey started back in 1996, when 24-year-old Rego applied for a trainee position at Atlas Copco in São Paulo, Brazil. After graduation Rego started working fulltime in technical support, and was over the years granted more responsibility and more people to manage.
Rego refers to being a divisional president, as “the biggest learning experience you can have”.
“It’s like being the CEO of a company. You have a global view, need to take decisions and you are liable for those decisions. At the same time, you have to be quite flexible because you have to collaborate as part of an ecosystem to maximize the company’s result. So you need very good skills to both lead and collaborate,” he says.
Rego believes that Atlas Copco is a great place for someone looking for challenges, changes and opportunities. “If you want to develop a career and grow into becoming a leader, this is an amazing place to do so. If you focus on the right things and clearly understand your mission, you can be quite successful.”