After 14 years leading the world’s second-largest truck maker, Leif Johansson will step aside. The president & CEO of Volvo Trucks has told the board of AB Volvo will he resign next summer as he approaches his 60th birthday.
“My years at Volvo have been a fantastic period in my life and this is by no means a light-hearted decision, but at some point it’s time to leave,” said Johansson. “The timing is good both with respect to my personal situation and with respect to the more stable situation for the company.”
“I made this announcement today because I wanted to give the Board ample time to arrange with an orderly replacement process,” he said, adding that he has no plans to move to a different company.
“I have been CEO and president of public companies for 20 years now and have no intention to move on to a CEO position elsewhere, but I might consider new board assignments,” Johansson said.
Johansson will turn 60 in August 2011 and has been CEO & president of Volvo since 1997. He is also on a number of other boards with other companies, including Bristol Myers Squibb and SCA. He is currently also chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists.
“Leif Johansson has done an impressive job during his years at Volvo and although I regret his decision I have full respect for it given his many years of hard work,” said Louis Schweitzer, chairman of the board of Volvo. “The board will now focus on finding his successor.
Johansson led Volvo’s purchase of Renault Trucks and Mack Trucks and, according to the Reference for Business, was behind the decision to sell the Volvo car brand to Ford Motor Co. in 1999.
Johansson was not afraid to make the tough decisions in his career. Somehow, I’m betting this was another one.