Volvo Cars has named Atif Rafiq its first chief digital officer, luring the longtime Silicon Valley executive from the McDonald's, where he built the fast food giant's digital unit from scratch.
Volvo is looking for Rafiq to lead the company's continued digital transformation. That includes "helping to evolve how consumers interact with Volvo cars across the buying, driving, entertainment and service experience," Volvo said in a statement.
Rafiq will oversee the "consumer-facing applications, digital touchpoints and enterprise systems supporting the company's products, processes and services," Volvo said.
Rafiq, 43, will succeed Klas Bendrik, who has been Volvo's senior vice president for group IT and chief information officer since 2010. Bendrik, 47, will help Rafiq transition into his new job, which he starts Jan. 2, and will then leave Volvo for a new position, the automaker said.
Speeding up development
Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in the statement Thursday that Volvo chose Rafiq because the company needs to rethink how customers buy its cars and how the automaker interacts with its customers after the purchase. Rafiq“is "ideally qualified" to speed up our development in this area, Samuelsson said.
Rafiq set up McDonald's Silicon Valley outpost in 2014 to better train and recruit digital talent. Projects he has overseen include tests of mobile ordering and payment, as well as McDonald's World Cup effort, which included an augmented reality game. Before joining McDonald's he held general management roles at Amazon, Yahoo, and AOL. Representatives for McDonald's did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Rafiq's departure.