Moving Icelandic Companies Global Through Visionary Leadership: The Case of Alvogen

  • Inga Minelgaite
  • Svala Guðmundsdóttir
  • Árelía E. Guðmundsdóttir
  • Olga Stangej
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


In his article published in the MIT Sloan Magazine, Harvard Business School professor William R. Kerr (2016, p. 62) notes: “Innovators such as Airbnb, Upwork, Alvogen, Rocket Internet, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance have more in common with one another than they have with traditional players in their own industries.” The linking factor among these organizations is their global approach. On this list, the Iceland-based company Alvogen, a rapidly growing generic pharmaceutical company operating in 35 countries, is now producing over 350 pharmaceutical products for global markets and has an annual turnover that exceeds $1.2 billion. Indeed, the company was born global, led by CEO Robert Wessman who has been characterized as a low key, yet, charismatic and inspiring leader who exudes complete confidence in himself and passion for his goals. These traits are so pronounced that the entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and professor Daniel Isenberg (2008) notes in his articles in Harvard Business Review: “Over my career I’ve met many first-class directors. In my opinion, Robert is among the top four or five. Even Bill Gates and Elon Musk at Tesla could learn a lot from him.” This chapter unveils the entrepreneurial mindset of Robert Wessman, the CEO and visionary leader of Alvogen, and its transcendence to the core team.


Robert Wessman Alvogen Leadership CEO Iceland 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inga Minelgaite
    • 1
  • Svala Guðmundsdóttir
    • 1
  • Árelía E. Guðmundsdóttir
    • 1
  • Olga Stangej
    • 2
  1. 1.University of IcelandReykjavikIceland
  2. 2.Institute of Quality Management and Business Administration (IQB-FHS)FHS St. Gallen, University of Applied SciencesSt. GallenSwitzerland

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