Assa Abloy pays tribute to founder Gustaf Douglas

Stockholm, Sweden

Gustaf Douglas, one of the founders of Assa Abloy, passed away on 3 May 2023 at age 85. ”We are deeply saddened. Gustaf Douglas has played an immensely important role for Assa Ablo over the years,” says Nico Delvaux, CEO.

“As a founder, principal owner, member and chairman of the board (1994-2012), he has shown great dedication and devotion, and has always been actively engaged in the Group’s development and success,” added Delvaux.

An interview with Gustaf Douglas about Assa Abloy in the book ”The history of ASSA ABLOY ”came out in conjunction with the Group's 20th anniversary in 2014. And now the company has shared it again as a tribute to Gustaf Douglas.  Below is an excerpt of some of his comments from the interview which sum up his feelings toward the company, and the strategy and culture that he instilled into Assa Abloy.

"There are three things that made and make Assa Abloy a success: the people, the people, and the people. There is a culture of talent within the company at all levels that propagates itself over time. Culture is built both from above and from individual employees in organisations. Channeling and developing the culture have been and are vital for Assa Abloy’s long-term success. Johan Molin immediately took charge of continued culture-building by setting requirements and strongly emphasising personal responsibility and an increased focus on employee development. Next after people, I must underscore strategies that have always been very strong at Assa Abloy, yet flexible enough to adapt to changes in the environment. Then perhaps execution – implementation – of the strategies that have enabled our amazingly rapid growth with increased profitability and strong financial stability. All of this is highly uncommon, or yes, indeed magical, for an owner.

Long-term thinking is the belief that what you are doing can lead to something better, sometimes requiring faith beyond all reason, which I have painfully experienced on several occasions. But as principal owner, you must have such faith, built on an emotion that may resemble love. That’s how I feel about Assa Abloy and a few other companies, and I watch how my family has now taken over after me and succeeded in progressing even further."

In memoriam: Gustaf Douglas

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