Former MD of Volvo Bus in the UK, Michael Ball, has passed away following a period of illness. A statement from Volvo said, ‘A much liked and respected figure, not only in the Volvo organisation but throughout the bus industry around the world, he will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. The company would like to express its heartfelt condolences to Mike’s wife Katrina, his children and all his family and friends at this very difficult time.’
Bus and Coach Buyer’s Rob Orchard said, ‘I first met Michael when he was seconded for nine months to my Marketing Dept at Leyland Bus as part of his Management Graduate Training. I met a cheeky chap with an infectious smile and a wicked sense of humour but the exterior hid a steel core. Michael was an exceptionally intelligent and clever lad and it was immediately obvious that he would go a long way. He stayed with my Department for 18 months and I well remember sitting in on his annual career review and the then Sales Director of Leyland Bus, Colin Watters, asking him what he was looking to achieve in his career – quick as a flash he replied “I want your job”. Ultimately he went far beyond that of course, holding major positions with Volvo in Sweden and most notably in charge of Volvo Bus in the UK.’
‘Michael never changed, he remained that cheerful chap who came into my Department. Our paths did not cross often in the last few years usually only at Shows but he would always break off whatever he was doing to greet me and he always introduced me to people as the person who had taught him how to deal with people and how to build and motivate a team. I’m not sure that is true but if I played a small part in his development then I am proud. A sad loss far too early. The World is a poorer place for his passing.’
Michael’s funeral is scheduled for 15 November 2016 at 11.00 at Saint Marys Church, Horse Fair, Banbury, OX16 0AA. Family flowers only. Immediately after the church service, Mike’s family will attend a private cremation following which everyone that attends the funeral is welcome to join them at the Mercure Banbury Whately Hall Hotel, 17-19 Horse Fair, Banbury Cross, OX16 0AN.