MIAMI – SAS (SK) President and CEO Rickard Gustafson has decided to step down from his position on July 1, 2021 after 10 years at the helm of the airline.

The Board of Directors of SAS AB appointed Rickard Gustafson as the new President and CEO of the company in mid 2010. Rickard Gustafson was 46 years old at the time and was the CEO of of the insurance company Codan/Trygg-Hansa. He was “to continue the implementation of the Core SAS strategy and ensure profitable growth,” says Fritz Schur, Chairman of the Board of SAS.

Gustafson came from the insurance and financial sectors. He is a Graduate Engineer, with a focus on industrial economy, from the Institute of Technology at Linköping University. After 10 year leading at SAS, he will now become CEO of Swedish ball-bearing maker SKF AB.

SAS Airbus A340-300 (retired) during landing. Photo: Ryan Scottini/Airways

Statement from SAS Chairman


Carsten Dilling said, “I’m both disappointed and sorry that Rickard wants to move on from his important role in SAS. At the same time on behalf of the Board of SAS, I want to thank Rickard for his fantastic performance during his ten years as President and CEO.”

“Under Rickard’s management SAS has made a remarkable turnaround, from loss to several years of profitable performance. Recently he has led the company with safe hands in the first part of the toughest crisis in the company’s 75 year history, the pandemic.”

“SAS is still in a critical – but stable position – and the board has of course immediately started the process to appoint a new President and CEO of SAS”, Dilling concludes. 

Rickard Gustafson interview from 2019

Statement from Rickard Gustafson


President and CEO Rickard Gustafson said, “After ten intense and stimulating years, the time has come for me to pass on the baton to the next CEO of SAS during the first half of 2021, as I have accepted an opportunity to join one of Sweden’s largest industrial groups. SAS has a strong position in the Scandinavian market and is well positioned to lead the aviation industry toward a more sustainable future once the pandemic is under control.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all esteemed colleagues, customers and other stakeholders in SAS for their engagement, loyalty and support over the years. SAS is a fantastic organization with extraordinary people that will ensure that SAS remains an important and integrated part of the Scandinavian infrastructure”.


Featured image: SAS Airbus A350-900 at Tolouse factory. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways