Volvo Picks New Chairman Amid Spinoff Talk
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Volvo Group, one of the world’s largest truck makers, has proposed that Par Boman be appointed its new chairman at the Swedish company’s annual general meeting in March.
Boman, 61, is a longtime ally of the billionaire Fredrik Lundberg, whose investment company Industrivarden AB holds influential stakes in a number of Sweden’s blue-chip companies including Svenska Handelbanken, Essity, Svenska Cellulosa and Volvo.
The appointment was widely expected and is unlikely to trigger a sudden shift in the strategy overseen by Volvo CEO Martin Lundstedt, who has lifted margins at the truck maker and made a push into electrification.
Still, the appointment may spur speculation that the Gothenburg-based company will explore breaking up parts of the business over the longer term. Equity analysts at DNB Bank ASA said in a note to clients that the new appointment “could be another indication a spinoff of Volvo Construction Equipment could be in the cards.”
The Election Committee of AB Volvo proposes Pär Boman to be appointed new Chairman and Board member at the Annual General Meeting in March 2024. As previously announced AB Volvo’s current Chairman of the Board Carl-Henric Svanberg has declined re-election. https://t.co/ZhXLaW1rib — Volvo Group (@VolvoGroup) September 22, 2023
Boman is no stranger to such a move, having overseen a split of hygiene business Essity from Svenska Celluslosa in 2017. He announced he would be stepping down as chairman from both companies on Sept. 21.
“Boman has extensive experience from serving on the boards of many Swedish listed companies in various industries and is recognized as a highly skilled leader,” said Anders Oscarsson, member of Volvo’s Election Committee, in a statement on Sept. 22.
The announcement comes after Volvo’s current chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, said he would not stand for re-election in August.
Volvo’s second-largest owner, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., didn’t add its vote to the nomination of Boman as the company lacks a seat on the company’s board.
In March, Geely sold its 6.3% stake in competitor Daimler Truck Holding AG, triggering speculation that the Chinese automaker might step up its influence at Volvo after eliminating the conflict of interest of owning shares in the two truck manufacturers.
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