Koldo Saratxaga was born in Sopuerta (Bizkaia) in 1947. He is a Technical Engineer and holds two Master’s Degrees from the University of Deusto and the Autonomous University of Madrid. When he concluded his degree in engineering, he started working for Vidrierias de Llodio-Villosa where he was in charge of different departments for fourteen years.
From 1984 to 1991 he was involved in the primary sector as a promoter and manager in ETORKI, S. Coop, CAJA LABORAL, working with cooperatives in crisis, and UROLA, S. Coop., where he achieved some excellent results in just over a couple of years.
From 1991 to 2005 he was in charge of IRIZAR, S. Coop. as the General Coordinator of the Irizar Project and he also chaired the Irizar Group.
Koldo Saratxaga has received, amongst others, the following awards:
- Businessman of the Year in Gipuzkoa, awarded by the Chamber of Commerce of Gipuzkoa (1997).
- Entrepreneur of the Year in Spain, awarded by Ernst & Young, La Caixa and Cinco días (1997).
- Best Entrepreneur of the Basque Country (2001).
- Irizar is the only company in the Spanish state to have been awarded the European EFQM Award for large organizations in 2000, as well as the best coach of the year in Europe in 2004.
- In 2005 he was named the “Manager with the best reputation” in the Basque Country, according to the opinion leaders who were consulted to prepare the Recor Euskadi 2005 report.
In recent years he has been working as a professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), as well as the University of Deusto (UD), the University of Mondragon (MU) and the University of Navarre (UPNA). He has also been a guest professor at the IESE Business School.
He is the protagonist of the book “¿Sinfonía o jazz? Koldo Saratxaga y el modelo Irizar. Un modelo basado en las personas”, published by Ediciones Granica.
He is the author of the book “Un Nuevo Estilo de Relaciones. Para el cambio organizacional pendiente”, published by Prentice Hall in Spanish and by Elkar in Basque, where theory is mixed with decades of practice. It was presented in November 2007 to over six hundred people at the Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall in Bilbao.