“My years at Volvo have been a fantastic period in my life and this is by no means a light-hearted decision, but at some point, it’s time to leave. The timing is good both with respect to my personal situation and with respect to the more stable situation for the company,” Johansson said in a statement.
In conjunction with his resignation, Johansson will also leave the board of AB Volvo.
“I made this announcement today because I wanted to give the Board ample time to arrange with an orderly replacement process,” he said.
Johansson’s decision to leave as CEO and President of Volvo is not based on a desire to move on to a CEO position in a different company.
“I have been CEO and president of public companies for 20 years now and have no intention to move on to a CEO position elsewhere, but I might consider new board assignments,” he said.
Johansson turns 60 in August 2011 and has served as president and CEO since 1997. He is currently the chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists and sits on the boards of pharmaceutical firm Bristol-Myers Squibb and Swedish consumer goods and pulp and paper manufacturer SCA.
“Given the tremendous job Leif Johansson has done in transforming the Volvo Group into a truly global and leading player within the commercial vehicle industry, I would have liked to see him stay on his post for a little longer, but I obviously have to respect his decision,” said Chairman Louis Schweitzer.
AB Volvo manufactures commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses and construction equipment. It also supplies marine and industrial drive systems, aerospace components and financial services.
In 1999, Volvo sold its automotive division Volvo Cars to Ford Motor for $6.45 billion (44.61 billion kronor). The two companies shared the Volvo trademark on heavy vehicles and cars.
In 2008, Ford announced its intention to sell its interest in Volvo Cars, with the parent of Chinese auto manufacturer Geely Automobile scooping up the brand for $1.8 billion last year.