Katarina Levin has years of solid experience in the forest and wood industry. In January she took over the position as CEO at Setra and moved into the corner office at Setra’s Solna headquarters. “Setra is in an exciting phase of development. It’s an honour to lead this modern wood industry company,” says Katarina Levin.
Setra’s new CEO has arranged her desk so that her back is to the window that opens onto the huge shopping mall. Instead she looks out onto a small park with some trees. “I prefer this view,” she smiles.
The previous day saw Katarina Levin set out on a tour of Setra’s units. Her first stop was Långshyttan where the new cross-laminated timber factory is being brought on stream. This new investment is right next door to Långshyttan’s glulam production and the plant’s manufacture of components for doors and windows. “All in all, this is going to be a fantastic wood processing centre, unique in Sweden,” she says.
At the same time, Katarina Levin is eager to get to know the other Setra plants and sawmills, not least the new planing mill in Hasselfors and the progress of the pyrolysis business in Gävle. Her ambition is to get to know as many employees and customers as possible. “Setra is to be a company with a flat hierarchy,” she says firmly.
One of the things she wants to achieve as the company’s CEO is getting everyone actively involved. Her philosophy is that the foundation of good business is an organisation that listens to customers’ needs and where all employees are seen and able to contribute their knowledge and engagement. “A strong safety culture, good team spirit and efficient production – it all goes hand in hand. A safe plant with good timber flow is a productive plant,” she emphasises.
Katarina Levin is keen to build further on Setra’s vision and communication of the Grönsamhet (Green Profit) concept. She wants to emphasise the way Setra is involved in putting a value on the whole of Sweden’s forest-covered land. “Everyone should be educated on how wood benefits society and the climate. Wood is not only renewable and recyclable, it is a raw material that is climate positive in its own right. This is why it is so positive that we are seeing a longterm, global rise in consumption of wood products. It’s confirmation for us, our customers and society as a whole.”
Occupation: President and Group CEO of Setra since January 2020.
Background: MSc in Forestry Science. 28 years’ experience of forests and wood at SCA, including the post of Marketing Director at SCA Wood and Sawmill Manager at the Tunadal and Bollsta mills.
Lives: On a smallholding with forest on Sweden’s High Coast, in the village of Tjärned, Noraström. Commutes to the head office in Solna each week and rents a little wooden house in Sundbyberg.
Family: Married to Peter, Head of Technology for Kramfors municipality. Daughters Kristina, 24, and Ingrid, 22.
Leisure: “We spend our free time on the farm. There’s always something to do. We have about 20 beef cattle, two horses, a dog and two cats. I like doing physical work, everything from gardening and small construction projects using wood to being out in the forest with my chainsaw – wearing full protective gear of course! But I also enjoy relaxing on the sofa with a film or going cross-country skiing.”
Text: Lena Lidberg
Photo: Sten Jansin