Gunnar Wieslander

Gunnar´s span of unique experience and expertise comes from 30+ years in senior roles and assignments serving at the highest executive level of the Swedish Government, being at the helm of a major commercial defense contractor, heading up naval forces in the field and teaching military strategy.

Top positions held range from Naval Officer, Commander of the Swedish Submarine Force, Military Adviser to the Minister of Defense, State Secretary for Foreign Trade, at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, State Secretary to the Prime Minister of Sweden to President of Saab Kockums - the naval business arm of the defense contractor Saab.

Gunnar is a senior resource at Senior Advisers and owner of Navegante AB providing strategic advice in Government matters in interactions with the private and public sector and especially in the context of international relations.

Background of Gunnar 

During his naval officer career in the submarine branch he mixed sea-going assignments with staff duties and teaching military strategy. Having commanded three submarines and a submarine squadron he became Commander of the Swedish Submarine Force and later the military adviser to the Minister of Defense. 

Between 2007 and 2014 Gunnar Wieslander served in the positions as State Secretary for Foreign Trade, at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and The State Secretary to the Prime Minister of Sweden from 2010. 

When serving as State Secretary for Foreign Trade, at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the following agencies reported directly to Gunnar:

  • SEK- state-owned company providing financial and credit facilities on commercial and sustainable terms to the Swedish export industry
  • Swedish Export Credit Agency
  • Swedish National Board of Trade
  • Business Swedenagency having a unique mandate to provide aid to Swedish companies to grow internationally and to foreign companies to invest and expand in Sweden.
  • The Swedish Institute - public agency promoting interest and trust in Sweden around the world.

In 2008, when the global major economic crisis set in and all financial institutions closed their credit lines, Gunnar managed, by working through the reporting agencies, to build-up Svensk Export Kredit (SEK) within a time span of 8 weeks, to become the second largest Swedish bank, securing continuity in export credit facilities to the Swedish industry. 

Heading up the Swedish PM's office, in the role of State Secretary and a member of the cabinet, from 2010 until late 2014, direct reports to Gunnar on a weekly basis included:

  • Minister of Defence
  • Chief of Defense
  • The Director of the Swedish Defence Material Administration
  • Heads of Military Intelligence, the Swedish Security Services and the Swedish Police  

In 2015 Gunnar became the President of Saab Kockums, the naval business arm of the defense contractor Saab, with the aim to re-establish and transform Swedish naval shipbuilding capacity. In that role he successfully brought in the latest technology, methods, tools and machinery resulting in much improved product quality, life cycle cost and availability. Saab Kockums shipyard in the city of Karlskrona is presently a truly state-of-the-art facility. 

Key elements managed and driven by Gunnar during the Saab Kockums tenure:

  • Implementation of a "Model Based Definition" (MBD) design method, a unifying aspect for design, manufacturing, quality and other disciplines transforming traditional drawing-based workflows to model-based computer-aided design (CAD).
  • Digitalization of all production definitions and geometries.
  • Geographically distributed facilities with design office in the city Malmö and the shipbuilding yard in Karlskrona. 

In 2020 Gunnar started up his own company, Navegante AB. Main objective is to give strategic advice on matters concerning Government, public and private activities and their interactions in an international context.

Titels, Awards; 

  • Member of the Royal Swedish Society of Naval Sciences
  • Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences
  • HM the King’s medal 12th size
  • Knight of the Spanish Order of Isabel la Católica
  • Spanish Order of Gran Cruz del Mérito Naval
  • Chilean Order of Bernardo O’Higgins


Copyright Senior Advisers 2020