Jonas af Jochnick, co-founder of direct selling giant Oriflame Cosmetics, died suddenly last Friday.
The 81-year-old Swedish entrepreneur and businessman, who founded Stockholm-based Oriflame with his brother Robert in 1967, passed away peacefully in his sleep. He had been active in various positions in the company, and stepped down from the Company’s board in 2018.
“Unfortunately, today is the saddest day in Oriflame’s history,” CEO Magnus Bronstrom said in a letter to employees. “Jonas was a special person—a true entrepreneur and a true leader. A person we can all admire endlessly for his optimism, energy, sharp mind and big heart. He made the world realize that dreams are possible and that everybody has a right to fulfil their dreams.”
Af Jochnick was a well-educated man who had a law degree from the University of Stockholm and an MBA from Harvard. His entrepreneurial spirit was very active in many different ventures in various industries. In the 1990s he invested in Medicover, a company in the health sector, which has also become a publicly traded company on the Stockholm stock exchange. He had been a driving force behind the company’s successful development from the first clinic in Poland to today’s global operations.
“It is with great sorrow that we have received the tragic message that Jonas of Jochnick has passed away,” said Fredrik Rågmark, CEO of Medicover. “Personally, I have had the privilege of working near Jonas ever since the start of Medicover, following him and his entrepreneurship on a daily basis. He was always full of enthusiasm and ideas for new projects and initiatives.”
Fredrik Stenmo, chairman of the Board of Medicover, added, “The loss of Jonas will be immense to Medicover, both on a personal and professional level. Jonas’ visionary and entrepreneurial leadership has contributed in a fundamental way to Medicover’s success and its corporate culture, something we will cherish on our journey ahead.”
Af Jochnick was also an extremely caring man. In 2004 he and Robert established the af Jochnick Foundation, which is based in Liechtenstein. After establishing Oriflame, the two brothers started visiting developing countries and realized the tremendous need for social contribution. To structure and formalize such activities, the af Jochnick Foundation was founded to contribute to the greater good by supporting projects that focus on children, youth, education and world health.
“An extraordinary person, with an extraordinary life, his legacy will live forever—in the company, in his children and in the hearts of all of us,” said Bronstrom. “To me personally, Jonas was the one who invited me to Oriflame, and he will always remain my role model, my mentor and a person whom I look up to. We will remember Jonas for his never-ending motivation, enormous generosity, always looking at the positive side and with a strong will to never give up!”
Af Jochnick leaves behind his wife, Christina, and their four children and many grandchildren.