• Sep 2, 2008
The last time we heard the name Stephen Odell, it was in connection to a list of possible replacements for current CEO Alan Mulally. While we aren't here to report on the top executive position at Ford, Odell has been tapped as Fredrik Arp's replacement as CEO of Volvo. Arp, who is leaving the automaker for other pursuits, had been serving as Volvo CEO and President since his appointment in October of 2005. Starting in October of this year, Odell will be responsible for leading Volvo towards "sustained profitability", something not seen by the Swedish automaker in quite a while. According to the newly-appointed CEO, the Volvo brand will continue to stand for "safety, environmental concern and its Scandinavian design." Frederik Arp is the third Ford exec outside the U.S. to leave in the last few weeks, following Bill Osborne -- the previous President of Ford Australia -- and Barry Engle, who had been serving as Ford of Canada's top official.
[Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE

STEPHEN ODELL APPOINTED PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF VOLVO CAR CORPORATION

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 2, 2008 – Ford Motor Company today announced the appointment of Stephen Odell as president and chief executive officer of Volvo Car Corporation, replacing Fredrik Arp, who has decided to leave the company.

Effective Oct. 1, Odell, 53, will be responsible for Volvo's global operations out of its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, and lead the company's drive toward sustained profitability through continued restructuring and the accelerated development of high-quality, fuel-efficient and safe vehicles in the premium end of the market.

Odell, who has played a key role in Ford of Europe's resurgence as its chief operating officer, will report to Lewis Booth, executive vice president of Ford Motor Company and chairman of Volvo Car Corporation, who will continue to oversee the strategic direction of Volvo.

"Stephen Odell brings to Volvo a wealth of experience of strong leadership in the automotive industry," said Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. "Given his strong track record at Ford, Jaguar and Mazda, the time is now right for Stephen to take up this new challenge at Volvo. I believe that Stephen is the right person – together with Lewis Booth and the Volvo Cars Management Team – to take Volvo forward and to return the business to sustainable profitability."

Booth thanked Fredrik Arp for his leadership of Volvo over the past three years, a period in which Volvo reduced costs and strengthened its product lineup despite a difficult business environment and challenges presented by adverse currency exchange rates and other external factors.

"Fredrik has steered the Volvo team through some difficult times since joining the company three years ago. His wide experience in business has been a strong asset in helping to develop and implement Volvo's plan to improve its business results.

"Fredrik has decided that now is the right time to hand over to a new president and CEO, Stephen Odell, who will lead the Volvo team through the next stage of its recovery."

Odell said he is excited to lead Volvo at an important time in the company's history.

"Volvo is one of the great iconic automotive brands," Odell said. "The very attributes that make Volvo distinctively Swedish – its heritage of safety, environmental concern and its Scandinavian design -- appeal to customers around the globe. Our strategy is to enhance the premium nature of Volvo by further strengthening these attributes. Volvo really is the auto brand for today's customers.

"We have a restructuring plan in place that will help to deliver a more competitive business and that enables Volvo to continue to build upon its core strengths. Volvo will adopt a more stand-alone approach within Ford Motor Company, while still leveraging product development and purchasing synergies with other Ford operations."

Before he was appointed chief operating officer of Ford of Europe in April 2008 responsible for product development, manufacturing, purchasing, and marketing, sales and service operations, Odell served as Ford of Europe's vice president of marketing, sales and service for nearly three years.

Prior to that, he held several senior level positions at Mazda Motor Corporation from 2000 to 2005. From 1997 to 2000, Odell was vice president, marketing and sales, Jaguar North America. Stephen Odell joined Ford of Britain in 1980 as a graduate trainee. A native of London, he is married with two children.

# # #

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, United States, manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 230,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Volvo used to be anti glitz ..when it was the beloved Swedish Tank ... with an identity all its own! I have driven the rear wheel tanks for 37 years - have one of the last. I have traversed the eastern half of the US and the Autobahn from Oberbayern to Nymegen to Goteburg in the old 4 banger tank....many times.... that was a Volvo! I hope it finds its way back to its real roots! Good luck Mr. Odell.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe he'll actually make the cars good looking from now on, and possibly even fun to drive...
      • 6 Years Ago
      The two lesser Volvos S40 & S60 may be deserving of aome of the above comments, BUT certainly not the S80! I frequently rent a car. I've had the Acuras, BMWs, and others. NONE can equal a Volvo S80 V-8 AWD Elite. It has features none of the others have, and if you heap every option on her, she's $60,511.00. You can get $3,000 off of MSRLP, making her $57,500.
      She's got 311 H.P. with AWD, a killer stereo system, an on board 'Fridge, buttery soft leather, power everything, Blind Spot system, Car check, Intrusion notifaction, power folding exterior mirrors with blinkers that are heated, power tilt with memory steering wheel of leather & wood that's also heated, moisture sensing self closing sun roof, front & rear parking alert aid, rides & drives like a dream, quiet and gives a great feeling and driver feedback.
      Has many many more unique features than I can recall here & now. Real honest to goodness interior wood and a cooled glove box for small cans of soda or candy. Blows any Acura outta the water, that is for sure!!
      Problem? Yes. They do not promote it very well and th e sheep don't shop it nor put it on their list. Those that do, buy it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I want to see a Volvo Station Wagon Cop Car. Like what the Europeans have.
      Catherine Kerr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hello my name is catherine kerr i own a Volvo 70 and I really need to share with you why I will never buy a VOLVO car again. I love my car but the service in Long Island NY is very poor. I have had my car serviced yesterday, to have problem with the convertible top looked at since it was sticking when I tried to open the hood. I drove my C70 convertible to the Riverhead dealer ship. in NY Long Island from my home which is about 30 miles for them to take a look at it. The customer service rep, John, came out to me and showed me the cable from the convertible that they broke while they were diagnosing the problem. i would not be able to drive the car home. The estimate cost to fix is $1,200 plus. John stated since he could not put the top back up I could not drive the car. I did not have a ride home which is about 30 miles. John the customer service rep advised me to walk to the nearest car rental service and rent a car. NY is having a heat wave and it was about 95 degrees, plus I am a redhead who gets sun poisoning, but more importantly I drove my car to the dealership on Wednesday in the AM, waiting patiently for about 2 hours when John came out to advise me the cable broke and the convertible top could not be put up.which was not my problem but the service guy who broke the cable . Bottom line my car is still in the Riverhead Dealership and John said maybe I will have a car by Friday evening. I have all me receipts to show I take very good care of my vehicle and I know stuff happens but when a customer is about to spend over $1,200 plus I really think they should be treated with some respect and dignity. Hence due to poor service I probabaly will never buy a VOLVO again and I am going to share this story with anyone thinking of purchasing a VOLVO. PS I always wanted a VOLVO since I was a teenager. thank you and I hope you read this and respond. In addition it is my holiday week off and I had to cancel my fun events. PS I do not like being one of those people that complain but I was pushed to far. thank you
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ford has real potential with Volvo, while almost all automakers are trying to move their brands upmarket Volvo needs to move down to where it was 10 or 15 years ago as a mid level luxury brand. Volvo already has the street cred with the wealthier suburbanites and yuppies to have its products sharing garages with BMWs & MBs. If ford could find a way to build them inexpensively keeping prices near that of volkwagen or fully loaded Japanese family sedans they could have a real success on their hands. And I think it would go without saying any price cutting would have to be done without sacrificing any of the traits Volvo is known for.