How Ola Rollén led Hexagon from conglomerate to a global leader

As we prepare to turn the page to 2022, we’re using this time as a moment of reflection on just how far we’ve come. As profiled earlier this year in the Financial Times, Ola Rollén joined Hexagon 20 years ago and began his journey toward one of the most remarkable business turnarounds, transforming a decentralised conglomerate into one of Sweden’s most valuable companies. Now a global leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software and autonomous technologies, Hexagon’s change in direction hasn’t happened overnight.

At only 35 years old Rollén was brought in by Melker Schorling to turn the organisation around. During this time, Hexagon owned a stake in a variety of industries, from standing as the largest importer of fresh tuna in Scandinavia to operating in smaller ventures, such as owning a day care centre.

But over time, and after an estimated 300 acquisitions and disposals spanning his career, Rollén began to fulfill the vision outlined when he took the helm at Hexagon. It started with the purchase of a measurement technology unit from a company called Brown & Sharpe. Then came the successful bid for Switzerland’s Leica Geosystems.

“I met a guy once who said you have 10 chapters in your life. If you get stuck on chapter 5, that’s your problem.”
 – Ola Rollén, Hexagon President and CEO, via the Financial Times

More focused business decisions followed, allowing Hexagon to take a prominent position boosting efficiency, productivity, quality and safety across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, public sector, and mobility applications. Currently, thanks to that long-term business strategy, Hexagon’s market capitalisation has grown 70-fold to a valuation of over $35 billion with 21,000 employees, and the future has never been brighter.

To read more from Rollén’s sit-down interview with Financial Times and to learn more about his rise to all challenges the business day can throw at him, click here.