Once a rising soccer star, Mikael Lahti has transitioned into a leader with a deep-rooted passion for growth and innovation. As Håkan Westberg prepares to depart at the end of September, we are thrilled to announce that Mikael Lahti will be taking over his role and has been promoted to Production Manager at our Ängelholm site.

From a young age, Mikael has been driven by the desire to win as a team, the joy of celebrating victory, and the importance of learning from every loss. He made his mark in soccer, playing for the national youth team and honing his team-oriented mindset. However, Mikael’s journey took a turn after several knee injuries ended his dreams of a professional soccer career. Undeterred, he decided to pursue another passion – academic research – and earned a degree in communication studies at Lund University. The goal-oriented, disciplined, and tenacious spirit that served him well in soccer continued to propel him forward in his academic pursuits.

Drive for Sustainable Innovation

Mikael’s ongoing journey at VPG is characterized by his persistent push towards refining processes and prioritizing continuous advancement. A significant ongoing project under his leadership is the transition from solvent cleaning and solvent-based paints to laser cleaning and water-based colors. Grounded in cutting-edge technology endorsed by leading laboratories, this shift is in the process of fundamentally reshaping our interaction with our products. Once fully implemented, it will eliminate the need for hot water, solvents, and metals in the cleaning process, promising substantial environmental advantages in the near future.

At the heart of Mikael’s efforts is his commitment to sustainability, which he sees as integral to his role and personal ethos. “The environmental gains are huge, and sustainability is good for me, our company, and the whole society,” Mikael remarks. As a father of two, his perspective is clear: “We have only one world, and we must care for it as we borrow it from our children.

Mikael Lahti, Production Manager
Mikael Lahti, Production Manager

Leading by Empowering Others

Mikael’s approach to leadership is firmly rooted in the belief that success comes from empowering individuals, breaking down silos, and fostering collaboration across different parts of the organization. He has built a team that values and harnesses the unique talents of each member, encourages open dialogue, and works towards shared goals. Mikael is a strong advocate of a grassroots approach to improvement, one that values the knowledge and experience of those who do the work every day. He leads by listening, learning, and enabling others to grow.

Shaping the Future with OPS 2030

As we continue to build on our new strategic plan for manufacturing, OPS 2030, Mikael’s leadership style will be instrumental in uniting our global team and working towards our common vision. He is excited about the potential of OPS 2030 to serve as a guiding force in our long-term strategy and operations, helping us break down silos and work together in a more integrated and unified way.

Embracing the Journey

In closing, Mikael’s story is one of transformation and growth, fueled by an unwavering drive to win, learn, and inspire. His journey from soccer field to production floor reminds us of the importance of building strong teams, celebrating together, helping each other, and learning from every experience. Let’s welcome Mikael to his new role and support him in leading our Ängelholm site to new heights.

Ängelholm, August 23, 2023

VPG, Vertical Positioning Group

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