Volvo marketing boss Speck is leaving; sales VP Visser named successor
Automaker also making changes in purchasing, manufacturing
Doug Speck, Volvo Car Corp.'s senior vice president for marketing, sales and customer service, is leaving his post effective July 1, the company said today.
He will assist with the company's China operations as a consultant through year end.
Speck, 54, will be replaced by Alain Visser, 49, vice president of sales and marketing, the company said.
Visser joined the Chinese-owned Swedish automaker last year.
Speck said he plans to move to Ann Arbor, Mich., to be closer to his wife and two daughters. His daughters attend the University of Michigan.
"We made the decision that we wanted to get back to the states," Speck told Automotive News today. "I probably will do something correlated to the industry but not manufacturer-based employment."
Speck declined to comment on his future.
"I will not be specific because I am in a real sensitive place right now," he said.
Speck began his career in 1983 at Ford Motor Co. and went on to hold marketing and sales posts at Jaguar and Land Rover. From 2004 to 2006, he was CEO of Ford's discontinued Premier Automotive Group in Australia and New Zealand.
In July 2006, he joined Volvo North America and in March 2007 was named executive vice president for U.S. sales and marketing. A year later, he became president and CEO of Volvo's North American operations.
Growth in China
In August 2010, China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group bought Volvo Car Corp. from Ford Motor Co. for $1.3 billion.
Speck was Volvo's top U.S. executive until 2011, when he took his current post in Gothenburg, Sweden.
His priority as head of global sales and marketing was to more than double worldwide and U.S. sales by 2020.
In the third quarter of 2012, Speck was assigned to work on Volvo's customer service, sales and brand in China, which had led to improvements in the company's performance in that country, according to the company statement.
China has been a key to Volvo's growth, as construction of an engine plant in the city of Zhangjiakou in north China began last year and there have been plans to open two vehicle assembly plants in China.
Visser joined Volvo's sales and marketing team last year from Opel. He has been based in Sweden and reported to Speck.
When Visser joined Volvo, his responsibilities -- including sales, brand, network performance and customer satisfaction -- had been handled by Speck.
Visser's successor has not yet been decided, according to a company spokesman.
Purchasing exec leaves
Also leaving Volvo effective July 1 is Axel Maschka, 46, senior vice president of purchasing.
Volvo is merging Maschka's post into a global purchasing and manufacturing position to be filled by Lars Wrebo, 51, now senior vice president of manufacturing.
"This change is part of our efforts to reduce complexity. We need to strengthen the substantial processes within the company at the same time as we strive to reduce bureaucracy," Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement.
Wrebo will oversee a unit responsible for "optimizing the value chain, from supplier to manufactured car, through material planning, logistics and manufacturing."
Maschka was with German supplier Robert Bosch GmbH in France, Germany and India from 2001 to 2008, when became CEO of the engine systems unit of German supplier Continental AG. Before joining Volvo last year, he founded his own professional services firm, AMA Advisors.
At Volvo, Maschka started several joint cooperation projects between Volvo and Geely, according to the company.
Speck said his decision to leave Volvo was not connected to the company’s organizational changes that were announced today.
Diana T. Kurylko contributed to this report
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