Diversity is crucial for creating inclusion and companies that are open to renewal. In 2020, 20 percent of Axel Johnson’s managers are to have an international background. To achieve this, steps are being taken in several areas, in the companies and at Group level. The Axelerate Leadership Program is designed for persons with an international background, who are not currently employees of the Axel Johnson Group, but who we regard as having potential as future leaders.

23 participants from 19 different countries were selected for the first round of the Axelerate Leadership Program, which started in November 2017. The participants are not guaranteed employment. Instead, the purpose is to bring the participants to the attention of our Group companies and allow the participants to get to know the Axel Johnson Group. The project is a collaboration with Mitt Liv, a social entrepreneurial company that promotes diversity and integration in the Swedish labor market. Axel Johnson finances nine days of training, during which the participants meet our managers and receive training in various areas, including Swedish/European business culture and leadership. A key aspect of Axelerate is to connect the participants with our companies. Part of the training is held at the companies, and all participants have mentors from our companies.


Diversity is crucial for creating an inclusive and innovative company. By 2020, our companies are to have an equal gender spread among managers, and at least 20 percent of our managers are to have international backgrounds. Axelerate Leadership Program is one of the initiatives made in support of this goal.

– Create larger talent pool
– Attract new, competent managers
– Build network

– Develop participants’ knowledge and skills in selected key areas (e.g. leadership, Swedish/European business culture, retail)
– Develop future inspirational leaders and increase their confidence
– Develop Axel Johnson’s network among people with international background
– Identify, challenge and make potential future leaders visible to Axel Johnson companies