Ford Motor Co. names Stephen Odell president and CEO of Volvo Car Corp., replacing a departing Fredrik Arp.
Odell will move into his new chair Oct. 1, from his current position as chief operating officer for Ford of Europe, where he is credited with playing a key role in that operation’s resurgence. He will report to Lewis Booth, executive vice president of Ford and chairman of Volvo Car Corp.
“Stephen Odell brings to Volvo a wealth of experience of strong leadership in the automotive industry,” says Ford CEO Alan Mulally. “I believe that Stephen is the right person – together with Lewis Booth and the Volvo Cars management team – to take Volvo forward and to return the business to sustainable profitability.”
Volvo has been struggling of late in the U.S., where sales are down 19.0% through July. But Ford says Arp made the decision to leave the auto maker.
“Fredrik has steered the Volvo team through some difficult times since joining the company three years ago,” Booth says. “Fredrik has decided that now is the right time to hand over to a new president and CEO…who will lead the Volvo team through the next stage of its recovery.”
Odell says in a statement he is excited about the new opportunity.
“We have a restructuring plan in place that will help to deliver a more competitive business and that enables Volvo to continue to build upon its core strengths,” he says. “Volvo will adopt a more standalone approach within Ford, while still leveraging product development and purchasing synergies with other Ford operations.”