The camera was used on the moon in 1969, and
reached cult status after this event.
The company used to be situated in this building,
located in central Gothenburg, Sweden.
Hasselblad left the building in 2003 and it was
turned into luxury apartments.
The company moved over the river and into this
recently finished building…
Flyttade in här 2003
Titanic sails on
Two years later, Hasselblad had left the building and
it stood empty until 2007 when it had finally been
reconstructed in order to fit the new guest.
The shift to digital imaging had
put the company in deep trouble.
1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Number of film and digital cameras sold in the
United States (guess which one is digital!)
A camera manufacturer with an annual
profit of about 50-60 MSEK owning
facilities worth 110-150 MSEK…
… It doesn’t seem to be the ideal
way of using capital.
(The Hasselblad stock grew at a furious pace during
the real estate bubble in Sweden 1986-1990 since
the company was now valued as a real estate firm)
Anyway, the new owner that bought Hasselblad in
1996 intended to do a ’leveraged buyout’, i.e. acquire
leveraged buyout ,
a company with borrowed money, sell it later on and
obtain a high return on equity.
For such an owner it was obvious that
Hasselblad should not own its properties.
Hasselblad therefore started to look for a new place,
where one could rent, instead of own.
This work was initiated around 1998. Different
alternatives ere investigated, but
alternati es were in estigated b t it took
more time than anticipated…
finalize its new
This work also
took more time
Revenues and profits started to decline…
Bottom line for Hasselblad (MSEK)
The new building was finished in 2003 at the
time when Hasselblad started to reach a
state of bankruptcy.
The H1 was now finalized and the company
moved over the river and into this building
in summer 2003, which created further
delays in the production.
Invigt av hans majestät
A big house warming event was held and the King of
Sweden inaugurated the building.
At one point, each employee had 140
square meters of space.
The employees at Hasselblad referred to the
building as ’the glass palace’.
Hasselblad left the
palace and moved
to a smaller, more
a few blocks away.
The original intention to sell Hasselblad s facilities
and move somewhere else wasn’t a bad one.
But planning is difficult under
conditions of rapid change.
Internal documents from 1980-1994
About 100 hours of interviews
A big thank you!
I tt ib ti
www jornmark se
Christian Sandström is a
PhD student at Chalmers
University of Technology in
Gothenburg, Sweden. He
writes and speaks about
disruptive innovation and
christian sandstrom@chalmers se