Volvo announced today that current board member Håkan Samuelsson will take over as president and CEO, effective immediately. Samuelsson replaces Stefan Jacoby, who was on sick leave following a mild stroke suffered last month.
Jacoby, who was set to return later this month, has been running Volvo since its acquisition from Ford by Chinese firm Geely two years ago. It is said that Jacoby will leave Volvo, following an amicable agreement with its board of directors.
Samuelsson brings more than 35 years of experience from the automotive industry, with his most recent top post being the chairman and CEO of MAN SE. He has been an independent member of Volvo’s board of directors since 2010.
Speaking at today’s announcement, Samuelsson said, “My time on the board has provided me with insight in the Volvo brand and the company. My focus will be on execution and performance, to secure profitability and meet our sales objectives.”
Volvo is currently in the midst of a five-year strategy that is costing close to $11 billion and will see the introduction of a host of new models based around a modular platform known as SPA
. Some of the models in the works include replacements for the XC90 SUV
as well as the S60 and S80 sedans.
It is not clear why Volvo is replacing Jacoby, though his health may be a factor. Additionally, it’s believed managers at Geely were unhappy with the slow development of the new SPA-based models and Volvo’s shrinking market share in Europe and the U.S. It was announced this week that Volvo will be ending production of its C30
later this year, and Geely chairman Li Shufu has said that Volvo will accelerate its growth plans in China specifically.