Volvo Cars has hired a "digital-first business leader" to help it transition into generating half of its global sales online by 2025.
Gretchen Saegh-Fleming will join the automaker on Monday, July 3, from Hydrow, which sells home rowing machines, where she served as chief commercial officer for two and a half years.
Prior to that she spent eight years at cosmetic giant L'Oreal, where she rose to the role of chief marketing officer.
"Gretchen is a results-driven and digital-first business leader with an impressive track record, and I feel confident that this will be a great match,” Volvo Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer Björn Annwall said in a release.
At L'Oreal, Saegh-Fleming, 46, helped the company grow through new marketing models, accelerating digital innovation and building strategic partnerships across a portfolio of more than 30 brands, Volvo said in the release.
In 2022, online and direct sales represented 11 percent of Volvo's sales in its top five European markets, so the challenge will be boosting that to 50 percent of sales in all markets. This month the U.K. became Volvo's first 100 percent direct market after it closed its wholesale channel.
Saegh-Fleming will be tasked with supporting Volvo's aim of increasing its online business and direct consumer relations, the company said.
Added Annwall: "With her vast experience leading marketing teams and developing direct-to-consumer businesses, Gretchen will play an important role in growing our brand and attracting even more fans to Volvo Cars on our journey toward full electrification."
Volvo aims to be an electric-only brand by 2030 and wants half of the cars it sells — a targeted 600,000 — to be battery driven by 2025.
The automaker debuted a model that will play a crucial role in achieving those goals this month: the EX30. The small crossover will be Volvo's most affordable EV, with a planned starting price of about 36,000 euros ($39,000) in Germany.
Meanwhile, the arrival of Volvo's flagship crossover, the EX90, has been hampered by software issues.
Saegh-Fleming will be based at Volvo's U.S. headquarters in Mahwah, N.J. She will report to Annwall and her position will be a new addition to the automaker's group management team. The so-called GMT is a tier below where Annwall sits as part of the company's executive management team, which includes CEO Jim Rowan.