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In memoriam Peter Wallenberg

Peter Wallenberg was without doubt Sweden’s most famous businessman. A former Atlas Copco employee, Chairman of the Board, and Honorary Chairman, he was also highly influential in many of Sweden’s largest multinational corporations and his network spanned industry leaders, presidents, and royalty all over the world. On the 19th of January 2015, Dr. Peter Wallenberg peacefully passed away in his home.

Dr. Peter Wallenberg, born 1926, began his long and productive partnership with Atlas Copco in 1953 when he joined as an employee at a service workshop in Nacka, Sweden. Eager to learn about all aspects of the company and not afraid to take on tough physical tasks, Dr. Peter Wallenberg worked for a period in the Kärrgruvan mine in Sweden where he learned to operate rock drilling machines. In 1956 he moved to the U.S. as a compressor sales engineer. Though he was a lawyer at this time, he learned the technical matters including how to service the equipment.

In 1959 he left for Atlas Copco in Africa, where he served as Managing Director for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi) and later also for the Congo. He served in the United Kingdom before returning to Sweden as Managing Director of Construction Mining Technique in 1968. In 1974 he became Chair of the Board of Directors, a position he held for 22 years. From 1996 he served as Honorary Chairman.

“Peter Wallenberg will be remembered as the most committed Atlas Copco promoter and supporter ever,” said Ronnie Leten, President and CEO for the Atlas Copco Group. “He was a true inspiration for me personally and for countless former colleagues and friends in the Group.“

There is no other such company
In the interview in 2007, Peter Wallenberg was asked what has remained unchanged in Atlas Copco over the years.

“The name and the pride. The pride of people who work or have worked for Atlas Copco is outstanding. I have seen so many companies outside Atlas Copco; not one touches Atlas Copco. The loyalty to the company is something quite remarkable. Each company has a soul, we don’t talk about it and we don’t write about it, but it is there or it isn’t. I have seen plenty of companies where it isn’t. There’s camaraderie in Copco. I have run across many people that have left Atlas Copco and they all have one thing to say, they have never experienced quite the same spirit as in Copco.”

“Atlas Copco has been a large part of my life, my school, my career,” he said. “I am very thankful for all Atlas Copco has given me in the way of challenges, experience and things to remember. It has also been great fun to have been able to take part in the development of Atlas Copco into a multinational company. A part of my heart will always be with Atlas Copco and I am firmly convinced that the company is in good shape to meet whatever the future may bring.”

Then he was asked if Atlas Copco was his favourite company. The answer came instantly and without any hesitation, “There is no other such company.”

Marketing and Sales Award
When Dr. Peter Wallenberg stepped down as Chair of the Board, he was honoured with a new Atlas Copco Award. There is no wonder it was established to reward marketing and sales.

The Peter Wallenberg Marketing and Sales Award recognises the most innovative and successfully implemented methods in the field of sales and marketing. This award together with the John Munck award, which rewards the best innovative technical development contribution during the year, are Atlas Copco’s most prestigious awards.

The award is presented at Atlas Copco’s annual general meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. 















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