Keaney, who will take up his new role on August 1, has been with Volvo since 1990, holding the top UK post since 1996. He has been president of Volvo's Benelux sales region since 1999.
Since Keaney took up his post as managing director, the UK has become Volvo's second largest export market behind the US.
He said: 'After 12 great years in the UK I am pleased to accept this new role. It is testimony to the esteem in which the UK sales company is held by Volvo.
'While I will be sorry to be leaving such a talented team of employees and professional dealers, one of the benefits of my new role is that I will still be in touch with progress in the UK and the region.
'This is an exciting time for me to join the sales and marketing team in Gothenburg as we roll out new models and grow our global volume from 420,000 to 600,000.'
Volvo will announce Keaney's replacement as UK managing director and regional president in the near future.