CLS Treasurer and Board Member Carlos Oliveira, is Business Controller at Ericsson Sweden. He has been working in the Finance Department of Ericsson for 20 years and has a previous exciting background working in financial roles in other multinational companies like KPMG and Motorola. Carlos has been part of CLS Board since 2014, and we are very glad to share his thoughts to CLS community about his background, his current work at one of the leading providers within the telecommunication industry - Ericsson, and some fun insights into his cultural experiences living in Stockholm as a Portuguese.
My name is Carlos Oliveira, I am Portuguese, married to my lovely wife Sílvia for more than 20 years, and we have 2 teenage daughters (gosh… sometimes I wish them to be young kids again…). I like to think that I look younger than my ID card states, as my mind is definitely younger, but my body starts disagreeing more often than I would like.
As for personal interests, I love sports, and not just watching, but also as a regular practitioner (running, mountain bike, ski), but I also have some more “nerdy” hobbies, like video games, board games, and going to the cinema. I also love traveling, not work-related, but rather on vacations and leisure time (COVID-19 restrictions: HOW I HATE YOU!!!)
As any normal Portuguese, I love hanging out around a table eating, drinking, and chatting with my family and close friends, preferably outside on a nice terrace enjoying the lovely Portuguese sun and weather.
But less normal for a Portuguese, 5 years ago our family took the decision to leave Portugal and move to Stockholm, Sweden.
We said goodbye to nice weather, lovely food, and affordable prices, and said hello to long nights in Winter, absurdly long days in Summer (you can never teach your brain to go to bed at 12AM, when there is still daylight outside), outrageous prices for food and beverages, and freezing temperatures outdoors (although a very cozy atmosphere indoors). However, we also said hello to a beautiful city and country, outstanding public services, institutions and social protection, and a multicultural, inclusive, and open society.
The reason we moved to Sweden was work-related, following a professional opportunity I was given by the other significant and important part of my life: my long career in Ericsson (I’m engaged to Ericsson almost as long as I am with my wife).
Following my university studies in Business Management, with a specialization in Finance, I started my professional career as a financial auditor for KPMG. From there I moved to Motorola, as a CFO for the Portuguese branch, and finally joined Ericsson in 2002, likewise as CFO for the Portuguese branch. And to this day, I continue to be faithful to and passionate about my finance expertise and background.
It has been a long journey of almost 20 years at Ericsson, with several roles and positions between Portugal and Spain, and now Sweden for the last 5 years. The beauty of working in a big multinational company like Ericsson is that you never get bored, because there are always new projects and processes coming your way, and new colleagues from multiple professional and cultural backgrounds to engage and to learn from. I feel privileged and honored for being part of an organization that truly is shaping an exciting and positive future.
Ericsson’s purpose is to set out the power of mobile connectivity to deliver positive changes to society, as well as having a leading role in shaping the changes to create a better world. And Ericsson vision is for a world where limitless connectivity improves lives, redefines business, and pioneers a sustainable future. It is truly exciting and engaging to feel that you are a part of this journey.
As for my contribution to CLS - Câmara de Comércio Luso-Sueca, I am far from being one of the oldest members of the Board, but it has been an exciting journey since 2014, helping to deliver our vision of being a gateway and a facilitator of business, cultural and social development between Sweden and Portugal.
Being a Portuguese living and working in Sweden, I like to think I really impersonate that interchange. Eventually, the only thing I miss for that and admit with some embarrassment is being able to speak the language.
But I blame the Swedes for this: being such a multicultural society, where literally almost everybody speaks perfect English, and most of the locals being so polite that once they realize you are really struggling in articulating just a few words, they immediately switch to a more comfortable language, Swedes give a foreigner no incentive to learn the Swedish language. A language which, by the way, is really hard, with its strange extra letters in the alphabet; words that when spoken hardly have any resemblance to when written; and this annoying principle of joining several words into just one when written, leading to humongous words of 30 letters or so, that you simply give up trying to read halfway.