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Volvo names Samuelsson as new global CEO

New beginnings: Former head of trucking company MAN, Hakan Samuelsson has taken the reins at Volvo, replacing Stefan Jacoby.

Former MAN boss takes reins but Volvo claims Jacoby’s illness was not a factor

22 Oct 2012

VOLVO has named the former head of German truck giant MAN, Hakan Samuelsson, as its new global chief executive, replacing Stefan Jacoby.

The move is effective immediately and comes less than a month after Mr Jacoby suffered a mild stroke.

However, Volvo Car Corporation vice-chairman Hans-Olov Olsson said at press conference announcing Mr Samuelsson’s appointment last Friday that Mr Jacoby’s illness was not the reason behind the decision to replace him.

Mr Olsson said the board took the decision to “take the company into a new phase”, emphasising the need to improve its financial position and boost sales in China, the home market of Volvo parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

Mr Jacoby is a former Volkswagen executive who was recruited to lead the Swedish car-maker in August 2010 after Geely completed its acquisition of Volvo from the Ford Motor Company.

Volvo said in a statement that Mr Jacoby will leave the company “after an amicable agreement with the board of directors”, which already included Mr Samuelsson.

Majority shareholder and chairman of the board, Li Shufu, said: “I see major opportunities for Volvo Cars to improve profitability, and accelerate our growth plan in China specifically.

“I am convinced that Hakan Samuelsson’s thorough experience and leadership will help us increase performance.

“We have a strong strategy and transformation plan in place, which we will now execute.

“I would like to thank Stefan Jacoby for his valuable and strong contribution developing the strategy and taking the company through the first two years following the acquisition of the Volvo Car Group by Zhejiang Geely Holding.”

Mr Samuelsson has 35 years’ experience in the automotive industry, most recently as chairman and CEO of MAN from 2005 to 2009.

Since 2010 he has been an independent member of the board of directors of the Volvo Car Group.

“My time on the board has provided me with insight in the Volvo brand and the company,” he said.

“My focus will be on execution and performance, to secure profitability and meet our sales objectives.

“No other business is as demanding, complex and full of challenges as the automotive industry. I look forward to leading Volvo Car Group in the most exciting period of its history.”

Volvo plans to double its annual global sales to 800,000 units by the end of this decade, with China, the world’s biggest market last year, accounting for 25 per cent or some 200,000 sales – up from only 47,000 currently.

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