Göteborg, Sweden – The founder of Chinese automaker Geely will become chairman of the board of Volvo Car Corporation. Li Shufu will take the top spot upon the completion of the acquisition of the Swedish company from Ford Motor Company, which is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2010.
Hans-Olov Olsson, a former president and CEO of Volvo, has been named vice-chairman. Ford had previously announced that Stephen Odell, currently the CEO of Volvo Cars, will become chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe, while Stuart Rowley, chief financial officer of Volvo Cars, will take on that position at Ford of Europe. Both will remain in their current roles until the sale of the company is complete.
“We have made significant progress in assembling the team that will develop Volvo Cars under Geeley’s ownership,” Shufu said. “Today’s board appointments underline my personal commitment to this famous company. The dual roles of chairman and vice-chairman will combine my own knowledge and network from the Chinese market, with Hans-Olov Olsson’s extensive international experience from the automotive industry and Volvo Cars.”
Under the proposed change of ownership, Volvo will remain headquartered in Sweden, with management autonomy to execute on its business plan. It aims to strengthen its presence in Europe and North America while exploiting new growth opportunities in China.