On April 1, 2020 Jens Bengtsson took up the position as CEO of Komatsu Forest AB, one of the world’s leading original equipment manufacturers of forest machines and related services and accessories. Bengtsson has worked in the company for 11 years and has recently held both the role of CFO and COO prior to the appointment.

Jens Bengtsson will be the first Swedish CEO since Komatsu Ltd took over in 2004. Image credit: Komatsu Forest AB

Jens Bengtsson will be the first Swedish CEO since Komatsu Ltd took over in 2004. Image credit: Komatsu Forest AB

“I am very honoured to be given this role and very humbled by the tasks that lie ahead,” Bengtsson says. “I take up my new position at a time that is very turbulent due to the coronavirus pandemic. The whole world is doing its best to deal with this unusual situation. We as a company have recently announced that we are temporarily closing our production for three weeks to adapt to the prevailing circumstances, and then, if restrictions permit, gradually increase production again in the spring.”

Komatsu Forest has had a strong development for several years, where the company has constantly grown. “Despite the current circumstances, we are confident that demand for forest machinery equipment will continue to drive growth in our business – and we have great potential to continue growing. Right now, it is impossible to say how the forest industry will be affected by the current situation, but in the long term we see great potential,” he says.

Former CEO Mitsuru Ueno is now taking on a new role as Senior Fellow for the Forest Division of the parent company Komatsu Ltd. During his time as CEO, he has had two important focus areas; to ensure a new production facility with a safe and good working environment, that is prepared for an upcoming expansion of the business, and to broaden the forest machine business through strategic acquisitions such as Quadco, Southstar, TimberPro and Oryx Simulations.

In order for our business to continue to grow, our owner decided in 2019 to invest in a brand new factory in Umeå. The decision is particularly exciting, as it is rare for new factories to be built in that part of the world, but it shows that we believe in the industry’s continued development and the solid know-how that exists in the company and the region. With his strong commitment and work, Mitsuru Ueno has made the project possible. “We now have great opportunity to have a modern and safe production facility prepared for us to grow, while at the same time uniting the dispersed operations in Umeå,” Bengtsson concludes.