On January 1st, 2014, Martin Weissburg assumed the position of president of Volvo Construction Equipment, the second largest division of the $42 billion Volvo Group. Born in Ohio, USA in 1962, Mr. Weissburg has worked in a number of roles in the construction and equipment industries, most recently as president of the Volvo Group’s customer finance company, Volvo Financial Services.
A competitive athlete throughout his school years and beyond, Weissburg got his first taste of the construction industry thanks to summer jobs that included being part of a crew digging and burying water pipes and cable. After school he studied business and industrial management at Purdue University, where he was recruited by Caterpillar into its management trainee program. Having gained a solid understanding of the construction equipment industry, Weissburg then studied for an MBA at George Washington University.
Following his MBA, Weissburg added to his global leadership experience in the realms of distribution, sales and financing of heavy equipment. He served as president of Great Dane Financial, and president of the manufacturing company Woodard LLC, which had manufacturing in China and utilized a dual brand strategy. (Knowledge that will come in useful in his new role.)
In 2005 Weissburg joined the Volvo Group’s customer finance company, Volvo Financial Services (VFS) – firstly as president of its North American business, quickly expanded to cover all of the Americas, then ultimately becoming global president in 2010. As president of VFS he was also a member of the Volvo Group Executive Team – a position he still holds as president of Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE).
‘A fresh pair of eyes’
Commenting on his new role at Volvo CE, Mr. Weissburg said: “I know the Volvo Group well and, having come from outside Volvo CE, I bring a new pair of eyes and perhaps different perspectives. During my time at VFS I worked closely with Volvo CE and many of its dealers and I now look forward to driving and developing the Volvo CE business in all markets and customer segments. It is with great pride and energy that I take on this new position within the Volvo Group.”
When looking at Volvo Construction Equipment, Weissburg believes the fundamentals of the company he has joined are good. Well-balanced geographically and with a solid product offering, the company is well-placed to benefit from an improvement in global demand. “We need to optimize our efforts so that we win more business, at a better profitability,” he says.
Decisive deal maker
Asked to describe his leadership style, Weissburg says he is commercially minded and someone who makes decisions based on facts and an analytical framework that allow for taking action quickly. “Information doesn’t have to be perfect,” he says, “but it has to be good. You can’t guess.” He also likes healthy debate with his colleagues and describes himself as ‘high energy’. “I like to keep a fast pace,” he says.
Martin Weissburg is the father of three teenage girls, and in addition to spending time with his family, in his spare time he is a keen student of current affairs and enjoys keeping fit, gardening, kayaking, cycling and yoga.