Volvo Cars Has a New CEO to Replace Hakan Samuelsson


Volvo Cars announced that it would have a new CEO starting on March 21, 2022. Håkan Samuelsson will be succeeded on that day by Jim Rowan, who was once the CEO of Dyson Group. Rowan was selected to replace Samuelsson in a “thorough and diligent search process” that wanted someone with “a strong background in software, digital transformation, and innovative consumer products.” Rowan is currently the CEO and board member of Ember Technologies, a company that makes thermally-controlled drinkware and dishware. He apparently has no experience in the automotive world. Before working with Dyson, he was the COO of BlackBerry. Ironically, the company’s older smartphones will cease to work on the same day in which Volvo Cars disclosed he will be its new CEO. Although it is not clear why Samuelsson and Volvo Cars decided not to keep working together, the transition process will run smoothly. Samuelsson will keep running the company until he leaves his current job and his position at the board of directors on March 21, 2022. However, he will remain as the Chairperson of Polestar Automotive Holding UK Limited until the company is listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol PSNY by the end of this year. This shows that Samuelsson probably had the option to remain at Volvo Cars’ helm for another contract extension if he wished to do so. Being a successful 70-year-old executive, he more than deserves to retire and spend more time with his family. In his farewell message, Samuelsson welcomed Rowan and thanked all Volvo employees for taking the company to its current market position. In his words, the Swedish carmaker is now “one of the fastest-growing and most trusted premium automotive brands.” Rowan will have big shoes to fill when he starts working for Volvo. Hopefully, his expertise in software and digital transformation will not prevent him from preserving the core values that made Volvo the company Geely managed to improve after buying it.