Volvo Appoints New Head of Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management

Volvo's new Chinese owners continue to make changes to the company's management team, appointing Lex Kerssemakers as head of product strategy and vehicle line management as of January 1. After 25 years of experience at Volvo, having held a job as head of Volvo Cars Overseas Corporation, Kerssemakers will now have a key role in the development of the company's next generation of cars.

"Product strategy and vehicle line management is a new function focusing on the management of the car lines. This will make it possible for the engineering side to focus on developing the next generation of products," Volvo said.

"Lex has a broad experience of this very complex work, which is one of the core activities within a car company. As head of Volvo Cars Overseas Corporation he has added a deep understanding of the market place," CEO Stefan Jacoby said in a statement.

Jacoby said he wants Volvo to build cars with a more emotional appeal to buyers, bearing simple forms that underline the brand's Scandinavian legacy.

Jacoby became Volvo's CEO in this summer, replacing Stephen Odell when he became Ford of Europe CEO after China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group bought Volvo from Ford Motor Co. for $1.3 billion. Jacoby has formerly led the Volkswagen Group of America.

Volvo has been restructuring its executive ranks lately, also naming Jan Gurander as chief financial officer at its December 9 meeting. He will be starting in April 2011 the latest. Volvo's executive management team as of January 1 will be Stefan Jacoby, President & CEO, Bernt Ejbyfeldt, Purchasing, Jan Gurander, Finance & IT (from April 2011), Hans Oscarsson, Acting CFO, (he will become Deputy CFO after Gurander's arrival), Magnus Hellsten, Manufacturing, Gerry Keaney, Marketing, Sales & Customer Service and Lex Kerssemakers, Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management.
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