Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has appointed Atif Rafiq to the position of senior vice president IT and chief digital officer.
Mr Rafiq, 43, will oversee the company’s continued digital transformation, helping to evolve how consumers interact with Volvo cars across the buying, driving, entertainment and service experience. He will oversee the consumer facing applications, digital touchpoints and enterprise systems supporting the company’s products, processes and services.
Mr Rafiq joins Volvo Cars from McDonalds Corporation, where he was chief digital officer, building the company’s digital efforts from scratch and leading global efforts to transform consumer experience though the use of technology.
A veteran of Silicon Valley, he has held a variety of general management positions at leading global technology companies including Amazon, Yahoo!, and AOL. Mr. Rafiq was also the co-founder and CEO of a start-up and has advised, invested and served on the boards of over 10 start-ups. He will be a member of Volvo Cars executive management team, starting January 2, 2017.
“The automotive industry is changing rapidly. This means that Volvo must also change rapidly. Part of this involves rethinking how customers buy Volvo’s cars and then how they interact with them once they have bought them. Atif is ideally qualified to speed up our development in this area,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive.
Mr Rafiq said: “I believe the automotive industry faces its biggest inflection point in literally 100 years. Whether it’s new technologies like computer vision and machine learning, or changing consumer behaviours around sharing and mobility, the scope for leveraging digitization is huge. I see in Volvo a company that has fully embraced these challenges and can lead the industry into the future. ”
Volvo has announced ambitious plans in order remain at the forefront of a rapidly changing automotive industry when it comes to autonomous driving, electrification and connectivity/digitization.
“In many ways, the development of cars that are autonomous, electrified and connected overlap. Mr Rafiq will help ensure that all of these developments are pursued in a cohesive, strategic and technologically-advanced way,” said Mr Samuelsson.