Former Volvo Bus Chairman joins Optare Board

The former Chairman of Volvo Bus Corporation has joined the Board of Optare plc as a non-executive director.

The appointment of Jorma Halonen, 62, is announced today. David Stonehouse has decided to stand down from the Board to progress other business interests.

Mr Halonen, a Finnish citizen, has over 18 years’ experience of working in the bus and truck industry. He spent seven years working with the Volvo Group, latterly as the Group Deputy CEO and Chairman of Volvo Bus Corporation. Prior to that Mr Halonen was President and CEO of Volvo Truck Corporation. Before joining the Volvo Group, he was President and CEO of Scania Latin America in Sao Paulo, Brazil and President and CEO for Oy Scan-Automotive AB (a Scania importer) in Helsinki, Finland.

Jim Sumner, Optare’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jorma to the Board, who brings a wealth of international experience in the commercial vehicle sector and will be a great asset to the Company at a time when the Company is expanding abroad”.

John Fickling, Optare’s Chairman, commenting said: “We are grateful to David for his contributions to the Company, thank him for all his advice and efforts and wish him well for the future”.
Mr Halonen is currently an independent non executive director of Ashok-Leyland, Optare’s strategic partner, and of its parent company the Hinduja Group.