The Swedish truck maker Volvo has replaced embattled Olog Persson as chief executive, turning to the head of Volkswagen-owned Scania for the newly appointed Marin Lundstedt.
Looking to dominate the truck market in the face of Germany’s Daimler and Volkswagen, Volvo announced better than expected earnings for the first quarter of 2015 even before scheduled and also said it would look for an external partner for parts of its IT business.
Persson’s almost four-year restructuring program led to some of the largest earnings of his holding of the office. At the same time, Lundstedt is regarded as one of the most respected executives in the truck industry and the Volvo shareholders are hoping he will improve the brand’s global position in the auto market.
Christer Gardell, managing partner at Cevian – Volvo’s second-largest owner by votes, told Reuters that “The action program that Persson initiated seems to be biting and he should get credibility for that. But at the same time we support the board’s decision to appoint Martin Lundstedt, who is widely recognized as one of the best leaders in the trucking world.” He added that what is left for the new Volvo CEO is to take the brand to the top as the best trucks company in the world. The choice of a new CEO with big credentials in terms of truck production and sales will most probably lead to expectations in terms of main focus on the truck side of the brand for a future streamlining of a car group that gets a third of its revenues from other businesses.
By Gabriela Florea