New Optare CEO

Optare Group Ltd has appointed Enrico Vassallo as its new CEO. Following his graduation in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Genoa, Vassallo joined the Iveco Group in 1996 and has since held a number of senior management positions covering purchasing, manufacturing, and overseas sales of commercial vehicles and components in Africa, Australasia and South America. His involvement in the bus industry began in 2005 with his appointment as the Iveco Irisbus Sales and Marketing Director for Africa and the Middle East. Two years later he became General Manager for Irisbus Italia, where he was responsible for an operation employing 750 people designing and selling buses and coaches. In 2011 he moved to Brazil to take up a post as President of FPT Industrial, which manufactures commercial vehicle components at two plants and has 680 employees. Enrico replaces PG Nilsson, who has been the Interim CEO since 1 January 2013. Glenn Saint will continue in his role as Deputy CEO.

Optare’s Chairman, John Fickling, said, ‘I am very pleased to welcome Enrico to Optare. He brings a wealth of international sales experience in the bus industry gained in several of the key markets that we are targeting as part of our strategic aim of developing a stronger export business. This will significantly strengthen the leadership team at Optare by combining his considerable international automotive management and sales experience with Glenn Saint’s wide knowledge of, and high standing in, the British bus industry. On behalf of the Board I’d like to thank PG Nilsson for his assistance in steering the business in the first nine months of 2013.’

Enrico Vassallo said, ‘I am looking forward to the challenge of building on the strong reputation that Optare has as an innovator in the design, development and manufacture of buses and in particular in the field of low carbon vehicles. In that quest I shall be relying on the skills and talents of the Optare team. I also see great opportunities to use my own experience to help expand Optare’s presence in overseas markets, where it is already achieving some encouraging results with support from Ashok Leyland.’

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