Former Chief Executive of Volvo
Gunnar Engellau was a Swedish businessman who served as CEO of Volvo from 1956 to 1971 and then as it’s Chairman until 1978. Born in 1907, Mr Engellau graduated from the Royal Institute of Technology and immediately secured work at the Swedish Railway Company SJ, in 1932. In 1935 he left SJ to become Head of Planning at Motala and then Purchasing and Sales Manager in 1937. He became the President of Swedish Flygmotor in 1943, before taking over as CEO of AB Volvo in 1956. When he began at Volvo, the company produced 31,000 cars a year and by the time he retired production had risen to 205,000. During his time as CEO he turned Volvo into a global business, introducing it to the United States, which became a pivotal factor to its success during this period. He also opened new factories and expanded the business, creating more jobs. He retired in 1956 and his son-in-law took over as CEO. During his career he was on numerous boards, notably, the Scandinavian Bank, AB Electrolux and the Swedish American Foundation.