Electrolux/Noble Biocare

Like Mr. Nevins I also got off to a young start in Japan. I first met Tom Nevins in 1985 when I was president of Electrolux. I had started the company 12 years before that in 1973, when I was in my late 20’s. When I met Mr. Nevins we had sales of ten billion yen or about U.S.$100,000,000, and 50 branches around Japan. About one-half of our sales were direct door-to-door sales by a few hundred sales staff. Tom helped confirm that we had been going in the right direction with our personnel and human resource policies and practices.

Mr. Nevins first contact with Noble Biocare was in 1988, in recruiting and other areas. At the time I was Commercial Counsellor at the Embassy of Sweden. I then reestablished my relationship with TMT in late 1994 when I became President of Noble Biocare.

TMT and Mr. Nevins helped us through a number of sensitive employee issues for the next year or two. Unlike Electrolux where I started the company from scratch, there were issues of misunderstandings and lack of cooperation among a number of key Japanese people coming in as mid-career hires with different backgrounds and styles.

Along with getting help on our personnel, pay, and appraisal systems, we also took advantage of Mr. Nevins training seminars, and his role as a facilitator and communicator. We wanted to improve the communications and harmony between some of our managers and staff.

In recent years I have become a Consultant for Scandinavian and other foreign capitalized companies. I am operating between Sweden and an office in central Tokyo. I have introduced TMT and Tom Nevins to a few of my clients. They have come through for my clients in both the recruiting area, and in Mr. Nevins’ areas of consulting expertise. You can always reach me through Tom Nevins of TMT.

Gunnar Kniberg
(former) President
Electrolux, Noble Biocare
Commercial Counsellor, Embassy of Sweden
Presently Consultant
March 2002