PARIS - Hans-Olov Olsson has begun making an impact as the new chief executive of Volvo Car Corp. by combining the company's sales and marketing functions.
The moves are part of Olsson's campaign to transform Volvo into a premium brand and grow sales from about 450,000 units worldwide to 600,000 by 2004.
Olsson dislikes hierarchy and refuses to sanction printing of an 'organization chart.' He wants Volvo to be a 'flatter' organization.
'I see a future organization where you don't have boxes,' he said in an interview at the Paris auto show. 'I see a modern organization where you have a vision, a target.'
Under the new arrangement, Olsson has combined all sales and marketing activities worldwide under marketing chief Dieter Laxy, whose office is in Gothenberg, Sweden. Laxy joined Volvo from BMW in June 1999.
Reporting to Laxy will be Volvo's other top sales officials: Wolff Huber, president of Volvo Cars International and Volvo Market Area Europe, headquartered in Brussels, and Mark LaNeve, Volvo's president and chief executive of North American operations.
Olsson also made some other changes to Volvo's product development organization. He named Magnus Jonsson as head of project management. Jonsson has been head of Volvo's P1 program which is designing the replacements for Volvo's S40 and V40 small cars. He will continue in this job.