Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson has some advice for his successor, Jim Rowan, who takes over Monday, March 21.
"Volvo needs to utilize this one-time opportunity during the current transformation of the industry to really upscale the brand," Samuelsson told Automotive News Europe.
Volvo is investing heavily to become an electric-only brand by 2030. Part of that push was the 94-year-old company's entry onto the Nasdaq Stockholm in October, a move that generated $2.3 billion to help fund Volvo's shift away from internal combustion engines.
Rowan was Dyson's CEO between 2017 and 2020 when the British tech company was developing an electric vehicle, an idea it later dropped. The 56-year-old Scottish executive joins Volvo from U.S-based consumer electronics brand Ember Technologies, where he is CEO.
"He has the experience and he has a strong team here and a clear strategy, but he should be in charge and follow his own will, as I have done," Samuelsson said.
The departing CEO, who held the job for nearly a decade in an era when his predecessors lasted about three years, said that Rowan — who Samuelsson has only met briefly a couple of times — is welcome to tap into his knowledge in the future.
"If he, now and then, would like to have dinner with me," Samuelsson said, "I would gladly do that and see if he has something he wants to hear my opinion about."