Silva, the Swedish outdoor company specializing in compasses and headlamps, has appointed Patrik Elfwing to take over as chief executive by the start of April. He succeeds Lars Gullikson, whose departure after 13 years at Silva was announced shortly after the sale of Silva in July by Fiskars, the Finnish group, and its acquisition by Karnell, a Swedish investment company. Gullikson left at the end of last year and in the interim the company is headed by Håkan Svaleryd, Silva's chief financial officer.
Elfwing previously headed IRW Consulting, a clinical research organization, but he has experience in the sports market as former Nordic director at Reebok CCM and marketing director of Frölunda Indians, an ice hockey team. The 46-year-old Swede also chaired the Swedish sports trade association, Svenskt Sportforum, for three years until 2010.
The company indicates that Elfwing's task is to capitalize on the Silva brand by widening its product range in the coming years, although it will continue to focus on hardware. As part of this strategy, last year Silva started to reach out to the bicycle trade with mobile lights, and it will step up its investments in this market this year. At the same time, the company will seek to expand its geographic reach, with a particular eye on Latin America.
Since the start of this year, Silva has been distributed in Germany by Salewa, and the Swedish company shuttered its German subsidiary. This is partly due to the fact that the end of Silva's ownership by Fiskars also disentangled the brand's relationship with Gerber, the knife brand owned by Fiskars, and therefore reduced the scope of the subsidiary. At the time of the takeover by Karnell, the prospects of Silva's French and British subsidiaries were equally questioned, but they are still in operation.