Volvo Names New Chief Executive

Ford said Frederik Arp, president and CEO of the automaker’s Sweden-based Volvo Car Corp., had decided to leave the company and named Stephen Odell as his replacement.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- Volvo Cars has appointed Stephen Odell as its new president and chief executive officer, effective from Oct. 1, the Ford-owned company said Tuesday.

Odell will replace Fredrik Arp, who has decided to leave the company, Volvo said in a statement.

Goteborg-based Volvo Cars has been struggling against a weak U.S. dollar, rising raw material prices and declining demand.

In June, it gave layoff notices to 1,200 employees in Sweden as part of efforts to reduce costs by around 4 billion kronor (US$662 million). In the first half of 2008 it reported a loss of about 1.6 billion kronor (US247 billion).

"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," Lewis Booth, executive vice president of Ford, said in a statement.

The company said Odell, 53, is currently chief operating officer of Ford Europe. Before that, he served as Ford of Europe's vice president for marketing, sales and service for nearly three years.

U.S.-based Ford Motor Co. bought Volvo Cars in 1999.

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