Sweden: The Biggest Employer

When Swedish newspapers complain of government bureaucracy or badly muddled industry, they often wind up saying: "What's needed is a Nicolin." The man who has entered the Swedish language as a symbol of the shake-up and the clean sweep is tall, squarejawed Curt René Nicolin, 42, one of Sweden's brightest young businessmen and the chief troubleshooter for the family that controls or persuasively advises more than half of all Swedish industry, the Wallenbergs. Says Banker Marcus Wallenberg: "Nicolin has a sense and a feel for management."

Nicolin bosses one of the Wallenbergs' most important firms, an 80-year-old electrical-equipment giant called...

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