April 07, 2021
Björn Annwall appointed as chief financial officer
The chief financial officer (CFO) is a vital role in any company, responsible for the planning and management of all financial activities including performance steering and business planning. The CFO also secures the required funding for continued investment in our long-term growth. This is only possible if our short and mid-term strategic plans create the profits needed to achieve that growth.
Björn, currently our head of the EMEA region, has been a member of our executive management team since 2015. In his previous roles with the company, Björn has also been in charge of our global marketing, sales and service activities as well as our commercial operations division and corporate strategy.
Björn has overseen a marked increase in our market share in the EMEA region since taking over in 2019 thanks to strong plug-in hybrid and pure electric sales that now constitute 40 per cent of sales in the region. He will bring his strong business acumen and experience of leading the commercial strategy in EMEA to shape the position of CFO in line with our new business realities.
Between 2010 and 2015, he worked closely with our company as partner at the global management consultancy McKinsey & Co. He played a key role in implementing the global transformation programme that was initiated by our acquisition by Geely Holding, and which has helped make us the strong company we are today.
Commenting on his appointment, Björn Annwall said: “I am deeply honoured to have been appointed as the CFO of Volvo Cars and excited about the task ahead. There is a great momentum within the company and we are in the middle of an industry wide transformation where we have the ambition to be the fastest transformer. I keenly look forward to working with colleagues and partners in driving sustainable and profitable growth for the company.”
“I am pleased to announce Björn as our new chief financial officer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, our chief executive. “He is a modern leader with broad experience of Volvo Cars and deep strategic understanding of our rapid transformation. This puts him in an excellent position to support the continued growth and financial performance of our business. At the same time, I would like to thank Carla for her contribution to Volvo Cars’ continued success and I wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”
Carla De Geyseleer joined Volvo Cars in 2019. Through a tumultuous 2020, she successfully steered the company’s finances, contributing to a strong recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and a record performance in the second half year.
Under Carla’s leadership, we also made great strides in aligning our financial strategy with the company’s overall sustainability ambitions. In September of last year, we established a Green Finance Framework, which allows us to fund our ambitious climate plan and electrification strategy by issuing green bonds or obtaining green loans. Later that month we successfully placed our first green bond, raising EUR 500 million.
Recognising the team that worked alongside her to deliver these results, Carla said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the finance team at Volvo Cars and I am grateful that my efforts have been well received both internally and externally. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone in my team for all their fantastic efforts – it has been a true privilege to work with them.”
Replacing Björn as the head of EMEA is Arek Nowinski, a company veteran of 17 years who is currently the managing director of Volvo Car Poland and head of products for EMEA. In this new role he will report to Lex Kerssemakers, our head of global commercial operations.
“I am happy to welcome Arek into his new role,” said Lex. “He is the right person, with the right mindset, to guide the transformation of EMEA. Arek brings extensive knowledge from leading a national sales company, as well as working on core strategic projects at our headquarters.”
“This is a great opportunity and one that I am very happy to take on,” added Arek. “I look forward to successfully executing our strategy in the EMEA region, making the transition to full electrification and online sales activities together with our retail partners.”
Arek’s replacement in Poland and as head of Product for EMEA will be announced at a later stage.