Krister Ahlstrom

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Person.png Krister Ahlstrom   Company Dircetor Check Prabook ZoominfoRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(businessman, politician)
Born29 August 1940
Helsinki, Finland
Alma materGrankulla, Helsinki University of Technology
Parents • Harry Ahlström
• Asta Seegen
ChildrenNathalie Ahlström
RelativesAntti Ahlström
Finnish businessman. Attended 1994 Bilderberg meeting as President and CEO of the family consortium Ahlström.

Krister Harry Ahlström is a long-term influential person in Finnish business life. He worked for Wärtsilä for 15 years (1966–1981) before joining the family business A. Ahlström Oy, a $2.2 billion-a-year consortium, in 1981. He led the company from 1982 to 1998 and has since served as Vice Chairman of the Boards of Stora Enso and Fortum, among others.[1]

Ahlström was awarded the title of Mining Councilor in 1990. He was the fourth in the Ahlström family.

Early life and education

Ahlström is the son of Harry Ahlström and Asta Seegen. Harry Ahlström was the son of Antti Ahlström's youngest son Bertel from his second marriage, who died at the age of 24 in November 1941 in the Vyborg Bay after the minesweeper Porkkala hit a mine. Krister Ahlström was only over a year old at the time.[1]

Ahlström graduated in 1959 from the Swedish-speaking Grankulla school with a master's degree and graduated in 1966 with a degree in mechanical engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology. His fellow student was Georg Ehrnrooth, who also later worked at Wärtsilä and was awarded the title of Mining Councilor.[1][2]


Ahlström had met Wilhelm Wahlfors, the head of Wärtsilä, in 1962 as chairman of Teknologföreningen. He started at Wärtsilä as a production designer at the Helsinki plant in 1966 and worked in the position until 1970, when he moved to production management at the Järvenpää and Helsinki plants. In 1973 he became the plant manager and in 1976 the director of the Järvenpää plant until 1978.[1]

From plant manager, Ahlström promoted to Wärtsilä's central administration as head of the mechanical engineering and building materials division, executive vice president and board member (1978–1981).

Ahlström Oy

In 1981, Ahlström took over the management of the central administration of the Ahlström family business. The following year, he was appointed CEO to succeed Lars Mikander. Ahlström considered the company's biggest challenge to be internationalization. Many reforms took place during his term. Among other things, the company sold the Varkaus forest industry, which was considered the Group's flagship in 1986, to Enso-Gutzeit and received Enso-Gutzeit's machine shops in return. The glass wool industry and the manufacture of bottles were also sold. [1]

In the mid-1990s, Ahlström's parent company became a holding company and its main operations were incorporated. In 1997, Krister Ahlström proposed Juha Ranta as his successor, who first became the Executive Vice President and in 1998 the President and CEO. Ahlström continued as Chairman of the Board, but resigned due to disagreements as early as 1999. [1]

In 1994, Ahlström attended a meeting of the Bilderberg Group as President and CEO of Ahlström.

Positions of trust and honors

One of Ahlström's most significant positions of trust has been the chairmanship of the Board of the Finnish Confederation of Employers (STK) in 1986–1991. From 1993 to 1996, he was chairman of the Confederation of the Finnish Metal Industry and from 1994 to 1996, chairman of the European Metal Industry Association, Orgalim.[1]

Ahlström has been a member of the Board of Directors of Aga (1990–2001), a member of the Supervisory Board of Sampo (1997–2000) and a Deputy Chairman of the Board of Fortum (1998–2000), Stora Enso (1998–2004) and ABB.

Ahlström became an honorary doctor of technology at Lappeenranta University of Technology in 1994 and an honorary doctor at the University of Art and Design in 2001. In 2005, he was awarded the Pallas Athene Prize by the University of Art and Design for his work for aesthetic values. Ahlström has also received the Order of the Finnish Lion Class Commander.


Ahlström has been married twice and has five children. His daughter Nathalie Ahlström is the CEO of Fiskars.

Ahlström is a world champion in sailing 8mR boats since 1975.[1]


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/19942 June 19945 June 1994Finland
The 42nd Bilderberg, in Helsinki.
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