BP chairman Svanberg to take over Volvo board: report

2nd December 2011, Comments 0 comments

BP's criticised chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg will soon be appointed head of the board of the world's second-largest truck maker Volvo, Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet reported on Friday.

"Carl-Henric Svanberg will take over as the new chairman of the board for Volvo ... The announcement is expected to be made in a few weeks," the newspaper wrote.

Svenska Dagbladet said the appointment had been approved by Volvo's two biggest owners, Renault and Industrivaerden.

Volvo refused to comment on the report.

"The company never comments on these kinds of questions," spokesman Maarten Wikforss told AFP.

If the move is confirmed, Svanberg would replace Louis Schweitzer of France.

Svanberg is one of Sweden's top business executives, and has formerly served as the chief executive of telecom networks giant Ericsson and locks and security company Assa Abloy.

He has however been heavily criticised in his position at BP.

He had been chairman of the British energy giant for only a few months when a massive explosion on April 20, 2010 rocked the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP.

He was lambasted for his low profile in the crucial weeks after the spill -- Britain's Independent newspaper called him "the invisible man" while a Swedish daily referred to his "ostrich tactics."

Criticism also raged after a meeting with US President Barack Obama on the White House lawn when the Swede said BP "cared about the small people."

Should Svanberg move to Volvo, a Swedish switcheroo would be complete: Volvo's former chief executive Leif Johansson was recently appointed chairman of Ericsson.

The two men have long been considered Sweden's most successful business leaders.

© 2011 AFP

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