High-ranking Volvo Cars executive Henrik Green, who until last year was considered a strong candidate to rise to CEO at the automaker, will leave the company at the end of the month.
Green's position, head of advanced technology and sustainability, will be dissolved and his responsibilities will be distributed to other parts of the business.
Aspects of his work related to advanced technology will move into the R&D division, the company said. That part of the business is led by deputy CEO Javier Varela.
Green's work in the areas of charging and energy management will move under Volvo's commercial organization, which is headed by deputy CEO Bjorn Annwall.
Green's sustainability responsibilities will be overseen by Volvo CEO Jim Rowan, the company said, which added that the moves will help simplify the automaker's management structure.
6 promotions in 8 years
At the start of 2022, Green, 49, was Volvo's chief product officer, one of the many key titles he has held during nearly 30 years with the company.
During former CEO Hakan Samuelsson's decade-long tenure as boss, Green was promoted six times within eight years. His previous posts included chief technology officer and head of R&D.
After fathering Volvo’s successful Drive-E engine line, he was promoted in 2011 to the executive management team at Volvo China, where he served two years as vice president of product strategy.
He joined Volvo's top board, the executive management team, in 2016 as head of R&D. In 2019, he was promoted to chief technology officer.
Green was named a 2019 Eurostar by Automotive News Europe because of his work developing what Samuelsson called the strongest vehicle lineup in the company’s history.
Under Green, the XC60 was named 2018 World Car of the Year, the XC40 won the 2018 European Car of the Year award, and Volvo became a key player in the plug-in hybrid and full-electric vehicle sectors.
Change in plans
Green's rapid rise up Volvo's organizational chart ended a year ago when the company went outside its internal ranks and chose former Dyson and Blackberry executive Jim Rowan to succeed Samuelsson as CEO.
The first outward sign that Green's vertical trajectory had reached its height came in June when he was passed over for one of the two deputy CEO posts Volvo created, which went to Annwall, 47, and Varela, 58.
In addition, Green was one of four people who were moved off the executive management team to a lower tier called the group management team.
Another person moved downward last June was Volvo Americas boss Anders Gustafsson, 54, who will be succeeded March 1 by Michael Cottone, 43, according to Automotive News Europe sister publication Automotive News.
The change is part of Volvo's restructuring of its Americas business, which includes spinning the U.S. and Canada markets into a separate unit.
Michael Cottone, a 21-year Volvo veteran and Western Region vice president, will take over the top job in the U.S. and Canada.
In a LinkedIn post last week Green said he had decided to "part ways with friends, colleagues, and a company I love and have loved for more than 27 years. Our paths will no longer flow together 24/7 towards all-electric, fully computerized modern mobility flagships."
He went on to say Volvo is headed toward "an amazing future" and said he expected to meet with Volvo colleagues "on our future journeys, at crossroads yet to be discovered."
He did not reveal where his next stop would be in his post.