Volvo has appointed named Hakan Samuelsson as its new chief executive officer, replacing Stefan Jacoby, who suffered a mild stroke in September 2012. Samuelsson’s appointment has already taken effect. According to the vice chairman of Volvo’s board, the decision to replace Jacoby was not due to his health but to the desire to have a new CEO to take the carmaker "into a new phase."Li Shufu, chairman of Volvo's owner, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said in a statement that he sees big possibilities for Volvo Cars to improve profitability and increase the pace of growth, not least in China. Shufu remarked that Samuelsson's experience would help toward Volvo’s goals. Samuelsson, who already holds a seat on Volvo's board, quipped that his board experience has provided him with insight in the Volvo brand and the company. Samuelsson said his focus will be on execution and performance, to secure profitability and meet the carmaker’s sales objectives.
Samuelsson was chief executive of German truck maker MAN between 2005 and 2009 until he became an independent member of Volvo's board since 2010. Samuelsson, who studied mechanical engineering, started his career at truck maker Scania in 1977. Meanwhile, Shufu commended Jacoby for his "valuable and strong contribution" in developing a new strategy as well as guiding Volvo through the first two years after its purchase by Geely.
According to the statement, Volvo's board and Jacoby reached an "amicable agreement." During a press conference, Volvo Vice Chairman Hans-Olov Olsson denied that there was a conflict on Jacoby’s exit from the company, noting that the change was needed to place the strategy back on track to boost profitability and increase sales in China.