- Volvo has appointed industry veteran Mats Backman to its CFO seat, the company announced in a Thursday press release.
- Backman’s appointment ends a hunt for a permanent financial leader that began in February with the departure of the automaker’s previous CFO, Tina Hultkvist.
- The newly-minted CFO will take the Gothenburg, Sweden-based company’s financial reins at some point during the second half of his year, the company said, with the exact date yet to be determined.
A veteran of the automotive industry, Backman has previously served in key financial roles for various players in the space, including as Group CFO for Swedish motor manufacturing Autoliv. He also logged a stint as Group CFO for high-tech engineering group Sandvik, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Backman’s appointment comes after Hultkvist— a 25-year veteran of the company — announced she would be leaving the automaker’s role with “immediate effect,” CFO Dive previously reported. She assumed the role in March 2022, having previously served as its SVP of group reporting, tax and control.
Hultkvist was succeeded by fellow company alum Jan Ytterberg, who became acting CFO in February. Ytterberg joined Volvo in 2018 and served a stint as EVP of finance and CFO for AB Volvo between 2018 and 2022. Ytterberg will remain on as a strategic advisor once Backman assumes the role of CFO, the automaker said Thursday.
Volvo’s earlier CFO change-up came as the automaker, like others in the industry, was struggling with inflation and continued supply chain challenges among other macroeconomic factors.
The company’s focus “is to continue to manage the cost inflation pressure as well as disturbances and disruptions of material supplies and logistics in different parts of the world,” CEO and President Martin Lundstedt said during the company’s first quarter earnings call in April, noting that Volvo had seen some easing in material supply challenges during the quarter in certain markets such as Europe.
Volvo’s net sales rose 25% to SEK 131.4 billion compared to the year-earlier quarter, the highest so far for a first quarter, Lundstedt said in a statement included in the company’s earnings release. Lundstedt highlighted “good profitability” as key for the automaker to be able to “continue to increase our investments in the biggest technological shift ever in our industries,” he said in the release. This includes investing in battery and fuel cell electric vehicles.
While the quarter represented a strong start to the year, there were still some challenges at play, Ytterberg said during the company’s earnings call. While supply chain pressures eased in certain regions like Europe, they continued to be a pain point particularly in North America, he said.
Additionally, “the cost pressure continues, both in the form of inflation, but also as we need more resources for the transformation,” he said in April.
Volvo did not respond to requests for comment.