High technology, democracy and long relationships
A restless and stubborn workaholic with a passion for helping others achieve success. This is how P-O Malm, President and CEO of A Society, describes himself. And he is certainly someone who appreciates long relationships. One of his longest and dearest began in 1991. P-O was on his way home from Borgafjäll. And during a coffee break on the train platform in Ulriksfors, he started talking to a girl from Västerbotten. That conversation has continued to this day and resulted in a mechatronics engineer and a national economist. And two cats named Alex and Sigge.
P-O holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He is also trained as a reserve officer in the Marines. He received his military training at the height of the Cold War, during a time when it was often the defence industry that pushed technology forward.
“It was in the military that my interest in high technology grew. I saw that tech could contribute to our security and our democracy. Back then, our freedom wasn’t something we could take for granted,” recalls P-O, when asked how his reserve officer training influenced his career path.
After graduating from LTH in 1990, P-O joined Saab, where he was involved in developing control systems for Australian Collins submarines and for the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen. Two years later, his next long and rather passionate relationship began – the one with the technology consulting industry.
“I guess I’d say I’m someone who knows a little about a lot, except when it comes to the technology consulting industry. I know a lot about that,” declares P-O of his many years in the industry.
He has held various managerial roles in the industry since 1996. Over time, his extensive experience has shaped his leadership. He wants to inspire people to strive to be part of something meaningful and exciting. At the same time, pay attention to details.
P-O joined Assistera in 2007, and when Danir bought the company in 2017, he was involved in the formation of A Society. When Thomas Goréus retired from his CEO position at A Society in April 2021, P-O took over from his good friend and mentor.
“I had never really thought about the CEO role, but when my colleagues wanted me to take over from Thomas, I was both happy and proud,” says P-O about the internal support he received when he started as CEO.
There’s no denying that we’re doing well, and one of our future goals is for our operations in the US to become as successful as they are in Sweden.
– Per-Ola Malm
His employees clearly have confidence in P-O’s leadership and faith in the company, as over the past year sales have increased by 15% and earnings by 50%.
“There’s no denying that we’re doing well, and one of our future goals is for our operations in the US to become as successful as they are in Sweden,” says P-O about A Society’s good results and future ambitions. “After getting profitability up to a healthy level, we’re now pushing the envelope considerably and aiming for growth of over 20%. We want to become a growth company. It’s a major undertaking that will require us to continue to tune our core business while adding new service areas to our offerings.”
Being stubborn and restless is all well and good, but his meticulousness, commitment, hands-on approach and informal attitude are the personal qualities P-O uses the most. And when you consider that he’s also someone who finds happiness, satisfaction and confirmation in the success of others, you know you have a skilled leader who will withstand the test of time. That creates stability and trust for customers, consultants and employees.