“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”, Leif Johansson said, adding that the timing is good for both his personal situation and “with respect to the more stable situation for the company”.
Volvo drove back into profit last quarter, posting profits of 2.81 billion kronor (€302 million, $422 million). The results compared with losses of 2.91 billion kronor over the same period last year, reflecting the improved economic situation.
The latest results ended a run of five straight quarters of heavy losses, which led to the job cuts of 20,000 in the group as it struggled to cope with the effects of the economic crisis.
Since the turn of the year the truck makers shares have climbed more than 80 percent at the Stockholm exchange.
But most importantly, during his years at Volvo he refocused the company on heavy vehicles, selling its car business to Ford in 1999. It was subsequently bought by China’s Geely this past August.
“Given the tremendous job Leif Johansson has done in transforming the Volvo Group into a truly global and leading player within the commercial vehicle industry, I would have liked to see him stay on his post for a little longer, but I obviously have to respect his decision”, said Louis Schweitzer, chairman of the Board of Volvo. “The Board will now focus on finding his successor.”
Leif Johansson’s decision to leave is not based on a desire to move on to a CEO position in a different company, the statement added. He will however consider new board assignments.
He will resign in conjunction with his 60th birthday next summer.