Volvo Cars (NASDAQ: VOLVF) will have a new CEO and president, effective March 21, 2022.
From that date, Jim Rowan takes over as global lead of Geely-owned Volvo, succeeding the retiring Håkan Samuelsson who first joined Volvo Cars as a member of the board in 2010 and has held the role of CEO and president since October 2012.
Volvo says its search for a new CEO had to demonstrate a strong background in software, digital transformation and innovative consumer products: Rowan certainly fulfills that requirement.
With more than three decades of global experience in the consumer and technology sectors, Rowan has worked extensively with digitalization, disruption, innovation, engineering and supply chains.
A sparkling CV includes working with Ember Technologies - a producer of thermally controlled dishware - as an investor, board member and the CEO from February 2021. He has also served as CEO of the Singaporean-headquartered technology firm Dyson Group between 2017 and 2020, and as COO from 2012 to 2017, accelerating the company's e-commerce strategy, launching new innovative products and growing global market share.
Prior to Dyson, he was the COO of mobile phone and cybersecurity company BlackBerry. He is currently a senior advisor to the global investment firm KKR and a member of the Shareholders' Committee of Henkel AG, a German technology and consumer goods company, which operates worldwide.
Eric Li, chair of the Volvo Cars board, commented:
"Volvo Cars is going through a rapid transformation of digitalization, which is why we wanted to bring in someone with global CEO experience from outside the automotive industry. Jim is the right person to accelerate Volvo Cars into the future – enabling it to become the fastest transformer in its field and a fully electric company with millions of direct consumer relationships."
Li added: "I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Håkan Samuelsson for his commitment and determination over the past 10 years at Volvo Cars. Håkan has, together with his management team, created a renewed and strong product line, re-established Volvo as a premium brand that is well placed for the future, and enabled the successful listing of Volvo Cars."
Håkan Samuelsson will stay in his role until Jim Rowan starts in March, at which time he will also depart the Volvo Car AB board. Samuelsson will continue as chair of Polestar Automotive Holding UK Ltd to see it through an expected listing on the Nasdaq stock market.