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We are delighted to announce that Lennart Ljungfelt, President of Aimpoint AB, has been voted by a narrow margin by our readers as BATTLESPACE Businessman of the Year 2012, we send him our congratulations; the runner up was Dr David Price Chief Executive of Chemring PLc. The award will be made by last year’s winner Jeffrey Q. Palombo, Sector Vice President and, Division General Manager, Land and Self Protection Systems Division, Electronic Systems sector, Northrop Grumman Corporation, at our event during AUSA on October 24th.

Ljungfelt has enjoyed many proud moments at the helm, but one stands out above the rest.

“The proudest moment I’ve had was at the National Defense Industrial Association annual conference in 2007,” he said. “I was sitting in the back row there among maybe 500 or 600 people. Michael Friedman of the Rapid Fielding Initiative took the stand and said he was going to start off with the most successful part of what the industry has accomplished to meet their requirement for supplying at larger volumes.”

“He started to talk and he didn’t show any pictures. It took me about 30 seconds to understand that he was talking about us. That’s where he started — the most successful accomplishment within his responsibility. He never mentioned Aimpoint by name but when he said M68 Close Combat Optic, I understood he was talking about us. I got real goose skin and I wished all our employees could have been sitting in that room and feel what I felt, because that was the ultimate reward. Nothing else comes close. It was such a beautiful moment and I’ll never forget it. I get the same goose skin as I talk about it now years later.”

Lennart Ljungfelt never doubted he’d become the first president in Aimpoint’s recent history to last longer than two years. He exceeded Gunnar Sandberg’s expectations from the moment he took the reins.

“After my first couple years he was always hugging me,” Ljungfelt said. “He made minor remarks like, ‘we should have a larger sign at the booth’ or ‘why didn’t you do this and that at this exhibition?’ but generally it was ‘well done.’ That was a combination of him calming down in his old age but also the result that we achieved and the way we have run the business. I’m happy that he experienced before he died that everything he thought would be possible to achieve was achieved, and far beyond that.”

“When I was hired the expectation was to increase dramatically in volume, but we exceeded that by far,” Ljungfelt said. “If you want to stay on top you have to have a plan, a methodology to improve. Longer battery life and better ruggedness than we had with earlier models are just two examples. It never ends. You have to stay focused to accomplish that.”

Looking toward the future, he concluded, “There are a lot of things coming up which are going to be for the better of the hunter and better for the infantry soldier.”

(Source: Lennart Ljungfelt interview by Eric Gourlay – BATTLESPACE May issue.)

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