Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby has retired and will be replaced by Hakan Samuelsson. Samuelsson served as chairman and CEO of truck company MAN SE from 2005 to 2009, and has been on the Volvo Car Group board since 2010.
The announcement comes only weeks after 54-year-old Jacoby suffered a mild stroke, although Volvo maintains that his health wasn’t the reason for Jacoby to leave. The company claims that Jacoby’s separation from the Volvo board was “amicable” and designed to let Volvo pursue a new business direction. Jacoby joined Volvo in 2010, having previously worked at Volkswagen of America.
“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,” Volvo chairman of the board Li Shufu said in a statement.
As president and CEO, Hakan Samuelsson will reportedly be tasked with helping Volvo expand its sales worldwide, especially in China where parent company Zhejiang Geely Holding is based.
“My focus will be on execution and performance, to secure profitability and meet our sales objectives,” Samuelsson said in a statement.
Under Jacoby, Volvo had promised it would sell 800,000 cars annually by 2020 — nearly double last year’s sales of 449,255 units. Yet during the first six months of this year, Volvo’s global retail sales fell 4.1 percent compared to the first half of six months. This week, the company announced that it would temporarily slow production at one of its Swedish factories in order to counter slumping European sales.
Sources: Volvo, Automotive News