Ford Tighten Grips on Volvo with Management Shuffle

04 September 2008

GOTHENBURG: Automaker Volvo has named its first ever non-Swedish chief executive following the unexpected departure of incumbent Fredrik Arp.

The marque's US owner, Ford Motor Company, has installed European operations veteran Steve Odell, a move that signals its intention to revive the ailing luxury marque rather than dispose of it.

The company says it was Arp's decision to leave Volvo after three years at the helm. He remains tight-lipped about his exit.

UK-born Odell is currently chief operating officer of Ford of Europe, a role he has occupied since April. He has also held several senior positions at Japanese automaker Mazda, in which Ford has a 33.3% stake.

Ford's evp Europe, Lewis Booth, praised Odell's teambuilding abilities and said he would bring a "deep knowledge of marketing and sales" to Volvo.

He insisted the firm was "not for sale" and "our primary focus is improving the business".

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff