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AB Volvo Chairman Quits

Swedish truckmaker said chairman Finn Johnsson is leaving his post and will be replaced by AstraZeneca chairman Louis Schweitzer.

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Swedish truckmaker AB Volvo on Friday said its chairman Finn Johnsson is leaving his post with immediate effect and will be replaced by Louis Schweitzer, the current chairman of drug maker AstraZeneca.

Johnsson, who has been on Volvo's board since 1998 and its chairman since 2004, said he resigned to be able to focus on other duties. "I need to free up time for a growing number of increasingly comprehensive assignments, which is why I am now leaving the board," he said.

Johnsson said he had initially planned to leave the company at the next annual general meeting on April 14, but since Schweitzer was available to replace him at an earlier date, he decided to hand in his resignation already now. "There was no reason to wait," he said.

Swiss-born Schweitzer, a former chairman of carmaker Renault SA and current boardmember of BNP Paribas, Veolia and L'Oreal, has been on Volvo's board since 2001. At the AGM, shareholders will vote on whether to keep him on as a permanent chairman.

"Volvo is a company with which I have worked closely for many years. It is a great honor and a very exciting challenge to take over as chairman," he said.