CEO lays himself off rather than employees, wins Ribby Award


Story of a CEO who refused to fire 30 employees.

10/24/2011 – In October 2009, Mats Melbin was named managing director of Anytec Boats in Sweden and continues in that position.

Mats Melbin

CEO Mats Melbin made headlines when he fired himself rather than layoff employees.

In designing the Ribby Award to recognize self-sacrificing CEOs, I wanted to focus on those who join their employees in the trenches to make sure their companies survive these hard times. However, because unselfish CEOs are so hard to find, this month’s Ribby Award goes to Mats Melbin, former CEO of Swedish manufacturer Örnalp Unozon. In May, Melbin resigned rather than lay off 35 employees.

According to news reports, Melbin had laid off 25 employees in January and learned only a few months later that he would have to get rid of more at the plant in Örnsköldsvik in eastern Sweden. The company is owned by Vinovo AB.

On its website, Vinovo says it “owns and develops small and medium-sized enterprises with good cash flows.” Logic leads me to guess that: a) Melbin would not have resigned if the company was truly in trouble, therefore b) the cash flow was not good enough for Vinovo so the employees had to go. As this happened in Sweden, they can’t blame health care costs. So, the Ribby Award and our best wishes go to Mats Melbin whose self-sacrifice is lessened only by the fact that he won’t lose his health care.

Ribby Award winners are leaders who put their customers and employees before themselves. Each month, it recognizes a chief executive or business owner, who steps out of plush offices, away from armies of assistants and sycophants, to personally manage and promote.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

matt July 17, 2009, 7:05 am

what’s to stop the next appointed CEO to do the dirty work? seems like a copout to me.

James Stratford July 15, 2009, 6:11 pm

Mats Melbin is definitely an inspiration and should be recognized. If some of the American companies that were in trouble had some CEOs that would step down and appoint the successor leaving them at their same outrageous salary as in their present position millions could be saved.

Congrats to Mat Melbin for the Ribby Award for the self-sacrificing CEOs and for serving as a great example to humanity.

Nabamita July 15, 2009, 5:14 am

WOW !!! … One example is Ramalingam Raju, who has put innumerable employees’ career at stake and the other like Mr. Mats Melbin, who resigns to save the employment of 35 team members … WHAT A CONTRAST…!!! Long live the unproductive CEOs and fraud Business Heads in India…

S. Rama Rathnam July 15, 2009, 1:29 am

Good example by leading.
Fact based management and common welfare concerned.
Congratulations and best wishes to Mats Melbin.

Best Regards