Carl-Henric Svanberg
Carl-Henric Svanberg.jpg
Born (1952-05-29) 29 May 1952 (age 70)
Porjus, Sweden
OccupationChairman of Volvo

Carl-Henric Svanberg (born 29 May 1952), is a Swedish businessman and current Chairman of Volvo.[1] He was Chairman of BP for eight years, from 2010 to 2018.[2]

Life and career

Svanberg holds a master's degree in applied physics from the Linköping Institute of Technology and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Uppsala University. Svanberg holds honorary doctorates from Luleå University of Technology and Linköping University.

Svanberg served as CEO of telecom company Ericsson from 8 April 2003 to 31 December 2009. Following his resignation, he remained on the board of Ericsson and holds 3,234,441 shares in the company.[3][4]

Before joining Ericsson, he led another Swedish industrial company - Assa Abloy. Svanberg serves on other boards, including:

Svanberg meeting with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev
Svanberg meeting with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev

Svanberg joined the BP board as chairman-designate on 1 September 2009, and succeeded Peter Sutherland as chairman on 1 January 2010.[5]

He and his wife Agneta, an associate professor at Uppsala University, filed for divorce on 17 September 2009. They were married for 26 years and have three children together. Svanberg is a dedicated fan of Djurgårdens IF and serves on the board of Djurgårdens IF Hockey. He is a former ice hockey player himself, having played for IF Björklöven in Umeå during his youth.

Svanberg has received the Lifetime Achievement Award, given out by the security trade magazine Detektor, for his work in Assa Abloy and Securitas,[6] other notable recipients of the award have included Thomas Breglund former CEO of Securitas.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Main article: Deepwater Horizon oil spill

On 16 June 2010, Svanberg met with US President Barack Obama to discuss BP's responsibility for the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He caused a PR uproar by afterwards expressing BP's concern for the common people along the Gulf Coast of the United States whose livelihood is threatened by the oil spill by saying "we care about the small people", drawing upon the Swedish vi bryr oss om de små människorna.[7] The correct translation of the Swedish phrase would have been "little people".[8] Svanberg subsequently apologized for the term, saying that he had "spoken clumsily".[9]


  1. ^ Jan Malmgren. Svanberg new chairman of Volvo. Svenska Dagbladet (Swedish), 6 December 2011.
  2. ^ Kent, Sarah (19 October 2017). "BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg to Retire". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Hans Vestberg appointed President and CEO of Ericsson as of January 1, 2010". 25 June 2009. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "BP Selects New Chairman to Succeed Peter Sutherland" (Press release). BP. 25 June 2009. Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Carl-Henric Svanberg fick Detektors hederspris". (in Swedish).
  7. ^ "Svenskar överskattar sin engelska", SVT, 17 June 2010
  8. ^ BP Puts Foot in Mouth Again With "Small People" Comment; Gets it Out by Cutting Shareholder Dividends, The Village Voice, 16 June 2010
  9. ^ Ann Gerhart. BP boss 'sorry' about 'small people' remark, NBC, 17 June 2010.