Leaving Scania to head Volvo

Martin Lundstedt, the man set to take over the helm of Volvo AB in October, spent 23 years at Volvo’s rival truck maker Scania AB, most recently as its CEO. He succeeds Olof Persson, who was ousted from Volvo last week after leading the company for nearly four years.

“We respect Martin Lundstedt’s decision to leave the company and wish to thank him for his successful efforts to further develop and strengthen Scania's strong market position during his years as president and CEO,” Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Scania board of directors, said in a press release on April 22.

Lundstedt joined Scania in 1992 as a trainee after obtaining his master’s degree in industrial engineering and management, according to the company’s website. As of late last week, the company removed links to background information on Lundstedt.

Scania’s bio said that Lundstedt began his career at Scania working within the engine production as production engineer, and thereafter as manager in engine production and research and development. In 2001, Lundstedt became managing director of Scania Production Angers in France and returned to Sweden in 2005 to become head of product marketing. A year later, according to Scania, he was appointed senior vice president and head of trucks.

Lundstedt was appointed executive vice president and head of franchise and factory sales in 2007, according to information that has since been removed from Scania’s website. In 2012, he was appointed president and CEO of Scania AB.

As of April 22, and until Lundstedt assumes his new position, Jan Gurander, the Group chief financial officer will be acting president and CEO of Volvo, BusinessWire stated.

“After three years of focus on product renewal, internal efficiency and restructuring, the Volvo Group is gradually entering a new phase with an intensified focus on growth and increased profitability,” said Carl-Henric Svanberg, chairman of the board of AB Volvo.  “This will be achieved by further building on our leading brands, strong assets and engaged and skilled employees all over the world. Martin Lundstedt has 25 years of experience from development, production and sales within the commercial vehicle industry. He is also known for his winning leadership style.”

In an interview on BusinessWire Svanberg also credited Persson with focusing the company on its commercial vehicles and selling off unrelated businesses and assets valued at over SEK 20 billion. He also concluded the agreement with one of China’s largest truck manufacturers, Dongfeng and led the company during the largest product renewal in the group’s history, according to the board chairman.

Under Persson, Volvo released better than expected quarterly earnings two days ahead of schedule and said it would seek an external partner for parts of its IT business, according to Reuters. Reuters said “While Persson's nearly four-year restructuring program has contributed to some of the strongest earnings of his tenure, Lundstedt is considered one of the most respected executives in the trucking industry and shareholders hope he will improve the company's global position,” the news service reported.

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