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2013年会计硕士考试英语阅读素材(十)

2012-10-16 来源:读书人 
MPACC英语阅读素材(十)

  A boardroom-level conflict at Sweden-based luxury auto firm Volvo Car Corp is infecting some day-to-day decisions and threatens to hamper its Chinese owner's efforts to turn the business around, sources close to the company said.

  Chief Executive Stefan Jacoby and Vice Chairman Hans-Olov Olsson are locked in an often personal in-fight that began to develop after China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co bought the Swedish brand from Ford Motor Co two years ago, the sources said.

  Jacoby, on medical leave after suffering a minor stroke last month, and Olsson, who effectively heads the Volvo board, have clashed over a key executive appointment and have also made conflicting statements on group strategy, added the sources, who didn't want to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

  "It's just been a mess," an ex-Volvo executive said. "Jacoby has not been able to run Volvo the way he wants to."

  Jacoby made no mention of any job pressures when announcing his stroke, saying he was keen to return to work, but Volvo insiders suspect friction with Olsson may have added to an unhealthy level of stress for the CEO.

  The two men are meant to challenge each other under an arrangement put in place by Geely to help create internal checks and balances, but sources said tensions between the pair have grown to become a management problem that Volvo can ill afford. It has also thrown another spotlight on China's mixed success so far in taking over and managing major overseas consumer brands.

  Geely's billionaire chairman, Li Shufu, who is also Volvo chairman, brought back Olsson, a former Volvo CEO and four-decade veteran of the firm, to help keep Jacoby, a German, on his toes. Olsson, 70, chairs Volvo's board on behalf of Li, who doesn't speak English, Volvo's main working language.

  But some Volvo insiders worry about the impact of the men's soured relationship on Volvo's business turnaround plan, which aims to revive flagging sales in Europe and restore Volvo's stalled momentum as a luxury brand, the sources said.

  SALES PITCH

  The conflict came to a head last year when Olsson tried to persuade Jacoby to promote Olsson's son-in-law, Thomas Andersson, a vice president, to global head of sales, marketing and customer service, the sources said. Instead, Jacoby promoted a North America Volvo executive to that role.

  The pair also appeared to disagree last year over whether Volvo would remain based in Sweden.

  However, Volvo says Jacoby and Olsson have a constructive relationship and, according to one of the Volvo chairman's key lieutenants, Li believes his system of checks and balances is working properly and he has no immediate plans to intervene.

  "Chairman Li still wants somebody to closely watch Volvo's management, and that's Olsson's task," that person said.

  Volvo denied the pair's relationship had broken down.

  "There is no conflict between Stefan Jacoby and Hans-Olov Olsson," spokesman Per-?ke Fr?berg said in response to questions about the relationship. "In a company undergoing such a rapid transformation it is natural - and positive - that the board has constructive discussions. The opposite would be devastating."

  Volvo also said Olsson and Andersson declined invitations to comment on the story. Efforts to contact both men independently were not successful. Jacoby also declined to comment through a company spokesman. A Geely spokesman did not respond to requests for comment from Li.

  HIGH STRESS

  Jacoby, 54, said in a statement on September 23 that he would be off work for a month to recover from a recent stroke that left him with some limited movement in his right arm and leg. He said then that his condition was improving.

  "Looked at from Jacoby's point of view, Chairman Li is the most important person on the board, and he doesn't want Olsson to act as his middleman," said a key Volvo executive. "Jacoby also thinks Olsson is old. He is getting ready to retire, and Jacoby thinks he should deal directly with Chairman Li."

  The issue is also partly due to a disagreement over the roles of the board and executive management, the sources said.

  Jacoby, who has spent most of his career at Volkswagen AG before he was recruited to Volvo in 2010, sees the executive management team as the core decision-making body, with the board providing oversight, the sources added. By contrast, Olsson takes a more interventionist board approach to executive decisions.

  AT CROSSROADS

  Since it was taken over by Geely, Volvo has been trying to nearly double its annual global sales to 800,000 cars by 2020, from 450,000 last year, and become a more viable global luxury auto brand. But Volvo last month reported a first-half net loss as the euro zone crisis dented sales in Europe.

  Jacoby told a Swedish newspaper before his stroke that Volvo was unlikely to meet its goal to sell 200,000 cars a year in China by 2015. Volvo sold about 47,000 cars in China last year and is likely to sell 45,000-46,000 this year, he said.

  Finance chief Jan Gurander said at last month's Paris auto show that global sales this year would likely be below last year's levels, but sales in China would increase next year. Volvo competes in China, the world's biggest auto market, against global luxury brands such as BMW, Jaguar and Volkswagen's Audi.

  SON-IN-LAW

  Two sources said Jacoby's relationship with Olsson hit a worrying low over the career of Andersson, who is married to Olsson's younger daughter.

  In early 2011, roughly six months after Geely bought Volvo, the newly appointed CEO Jacoby met Andersson in the CEO's office at Volvo headquarters in Gothenburg to discuss Andersson's new assignment, two sources said. At the time, Andersson wanted to lead Volvo's global sales, marketing and service, which Olsson endorsed, said the two sources citing a first-hand account of the talks.

  But Jacoby and Volvo's Chinese owner wanted Andersson to move to China to lead Volvo's sales activities there before promoting him, and the CEO told Andersson so in the meeting, according to this account.

  Andersson replied that he would move to China if he could return to Sweden a year later and become head of Volvo's global sales and marketing. Jacoby then abruptly ended the meeting, making it clear the job talks were over.

  A few days after that meeting, Olsson visited Jacoby in his office and advised him to give Andersson the top global sales and marketing job, the sources said. Shortly afterwards, Jacoby named ex-Ford executive Doug Speck as global sales and marketing chief.

  Also, about a year ago, Jacoby and Olsson contradicted each other in public statements over whether Volvo would always be based in Sweden under Geely's ownership.

  Jacoby told employees that Volvo would remain in Sweden. But Olsson, a couple of weeks later, told a newspaper there was a chance the firm could move out of Sweden if Volvo did not shape up. He did not say where Volvo could relocate under those circumstances.

  相关中文资料

  据接近公司的消息人士透露,瑞典豪华车厂商沃尔沃内部出现高层矛盾,影响到公司的一些日常决策,并可能妨碍中国东家改善业务的努力.

  消息人士称,中国浙江吉利控股集团GEELY.UL两年前从福特汽车手中买下沃尔沃品牌之後,沃尔沃首席执行官(CEO)Stefan Jacoby和副董事长Hans-Olov Olsson就开始时常进行私人争斗.

  Jacoby上月发生轻度中风,目前在休病假,现在实际领导沃尔沃董事会的人是Olsson.消息人士称,这两人曾在一个重要高层职位的任命上意见不一,而且就集团战略发表过相互矛盾的声明.该消息人士因为此事太敏感不愿具名.

  "简直是一团糟,"一位前沃尔沃高层表示."Jacoby一直没法按他的意愿经营沃尔沃."

  Jacoby公开中风病情时没有提到任何与工作有关的压力,只表示希望能尽快返岗.但沃尔沃内部人士怀疑,与Olsson的摩擦加重了他的病情.

  根据吉利提出的旨在营造内部制衡环境的安排,这两人是可以相互质疑的,但消息人士称,他们两人之间的摩擦已经升级为沃尔沃无法承受的管理问题.

  亦担任沃尔沃董事长的吉利董事长李书福当初返聘Olsson,是为了帮他制衡Jacoby.老将Olsson是前沃尔沃CEO,为公司效力长达40年.今年70岁高龄的Olsson是李书福在沃尔沃董事会的代表,因为李书福不会说英文,而英文是沃尔沃的主要工作语言.

  消息人士称,沃尔沃的一些内部人士很担心这两位高层的关系恶化会影响公司的业务改善计划,沃尔沃正计划重振欧洲销售和沃尔沃作为豪华车品牌的声望.

  高层职位之争

  消息人士称,去年Olsson试图说服Jacoby提拔他的女婿,时任副总裁Thomas Andersson担任销售、市场策划和客服全球主管时,两人的矛盾激化到顶点.结果,Jacoby却提拔了一位北美沃尔沃高层担任那一职位.

  去年,这两人在沃尔沃总部是否留在瑞典的问题上似乎也意见不一.

  不过沃尔沃表示,Jacoby和Olsson之间保持着积极关系.而据李书福身边的重要助理之一称.李书福也相信自己一手打造的制衡体系运转得当,他目前不打算马上干预此事.

  "李董事长仍需要有人密切监督沃尔沃的管理工作,而那正是Olsson的任务,"这位助理表示.

  沃尔沃对Jacoby和Olsson两人关系破裂予以否认.

  "Stefan Jacoby和Hans-Olov Olsson之间没有矛盾,"公司发言人Per-Ake Froberg在回覆记者有关两人关系的问题时说道."在一家经历如此快速变革的公司,董事会出现积极讨论是很自然的事情,这也是积极的.相反不这样就糟了."

  沃尔沃还表示,Olsson和Andersson均拒绝了要求对相关报导置评的邀请.记者曾试图单独联系他们,但未果.Jacoby亦拒绝通过公司发言人置评.吉利公司发言人尚未回覆要求李书福对此置评的徵询.

  压力山大

  今年54岁的Jacoby在9月23日声明中称,他将休病假一个月.因为中风,他的右手和右脚目前有些行动不便.後来他表示自己的身体状况有所好转.

  "从Jacoby的角度来看,李书福才是董事会最重要的人,他不希望Olsson充当他的中间人,"一位关键的沃尔沃高层表示."Jacoby还认为Olsson年纪太大,得要准备退休了.Jacoby觉得自己应该直接与李书福进行沟通."

  据消息人士称,两人在董事会角色和高层管理问题上的分歧亦是造成矛盾的原因.

  Jacoby在2010年加盟沃尔沃之前,大部分职业生涯是在德国大众汽车(VOWG_p.DE: 行情)度过的.消息人士称,Jacoby认为高层管理团队才是核心决策机构,而董事会的职责是监督.相反,Olsson对高层管理团队的决策采取一种更具干预性的方式.

  处在十字路口

  自从沃尔沃被吉利收购後,一直朝着在2020之前将年度全球汽车销量较去年的45万辆增加近一倍,至80万辆的目标努力,并致力於巩固沃尔沃作为全球豪华车品牌的知名度.但沃尔沃上月公布上半年出现净亏损,因为欧债危机打击了欧洲销售.

  Jacoby在出现中风病情前,曾对一家瑞典报纸表示,沃尔沃不大可能在2015年之前实现每年在中国出售20万辆汽车的目标.去年沃尔沃在中国售出4.7万辆汽车,今年销量可能为4.5-4.6万辆.

  沃尔沃财务总监Jan Gurander在上月巴黎举行的汽车展中表示,公司今年的全球汽车销量很可能低於去年,但明年在中国的销量有望增加.沃尔沃在中国的竞争对手包括宝马 (BMWG.DE: 行情)、捷豹(Jaguar)(TAMO.NS: 行情)和大众旗下的奥迪.


(作者:读书人网友 编辑:kind887)
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