New CEO at Morakniv
The board of Morakniv AB has appointed Johan Burtus as the new CEO of Morakniv AB. Johan Burtus will take office on February 1, 2021.
“With Johan, Morakniv’s journey into the world will continue at an even higher pace than before,” says Pierre Bengtsson, Chairman of the board of Morakniv AB.
“I am happy for the trust the board shows me, and it will be extremely fun and exciting, but also challenging, to return to Mora to become CEO of Morakniv. It has been over two decades since I left Mora to study and pursue a career elsewhere. Now, however, I feel that it is time to return home and give something back to the area where I grew up,” says Johan Burtus and continues: “This is really a bit of a dream. Morakniv is a strong brand with good and well-known products, both in Sweden and internationally. The combination of leading a well-established and well-known company like Morakniv and also being able to live and work in Mora, with proximity to most things that I value in life, feels absolutely fantastic.
“Looking ahead, we have a challenging journey ahead of us with expectations of continued growth, increased momentum in our international expansion, and sustainable profitability. Here I bring important experiences from international trade, streamlining of manufacturing and logistics as well as brand building and positioning,” Johan continues and concludes with a reflection on leadership: “I also bring with me important lessons from different leadership situations around the world in our quest to be Mora’s most attractive employers.”
Johan was born and raised in Vattnäs outside Mora. After a high school education in mechanical engineering, Johan worked mainly in the IT and manufacturing industry before leaving Dalarna just before the turn of the millennium. This was followed by a nearly 15-year career in the Finnish listed steel group Rautaruukki, Johan was responsible for the IT development, digital strategies, and project management for national and global change projects.
He has also run projects to improve and streamline loss-making operations (so-called turnaround) and been involved in both the establishment and liquidation of companies and manufacturing units. Johan has spent a significant part of his career abroad, including placements abroad in Poland, Finland, and China. For several years, he has run his own consulting business and helped clients, mainly in Asia, with new establishments and issues concerning leadership and team development. Johan most recently came from a position as CEO of Willab AB, a privately-owned company active in agriculture, animal health, and equestrian sports. In connection with the acquisition of Morakniv, Johan will move from Skåne to Dalarna.
The journey for Morakniv begins in 1891 when Frost-Erik Erson returned home to the village Östnor in Mora after four years in North America. When he started his timber sledge factory, the first seed was sown for what would eventually become the company and brand Morakniv as we know it today. In the beginning, Frost-Erik only manufactured knives for the factory’s internal use, but production would soon grow and more and more knives could be sent out in both Sweden and the world. Today, Morakniv has sales of almost SEK 220 million, of which over 70 per cent are sold outside Sweden.