The sweeping changes in the General Motors management have filtered down to GM Holden with chairman and managing director, Mark Reuss, being replaced by his sales chief.
GM Holden announced this morning that 46-year-old Alan Batey, would take over the role from September 1.
Mr Batey, currently Holden’s executive director, sales, marketing and after sales, will succeed 45-year-old Mr Reuss, who has been appointed to a senior, as yet unnamed, product development role with General Motors based in the United States.
Mr Reuss entered the most senior revolving door at GM Holden in February last year to become the third chairman and MD in a little over six months. He was previously executive director of global vehicle integration, safety and virtual vehicle development and has a GM career spanning back to 1983.
He has since had a tough 18 months, overseeing the closure of Holden’s Melbourne engine plant, the scaling-down of production of the locally built Commodore in response to dwindling large-car sales, the loss of the Commodore export program to the US, and a $70-million loss for 2008.
Nick Reilly, GM’s recently elevated executive vice president and president of GM International Operations, Nick Reilly, who’s based in China and has responsibility for GM Holden, paid tribute to Mr Reuss’s leadership of Holden through a difficult period and said Mr Batey was an ideal appointment.
The Holden position was among changes announced by Mr Reilly, unveiling the new leadership structure for GM’s International Operations.
“Mark’s leadership during what has been a tumultuous time for the auto industry, both in Australia and globally has been outstanding.
At a time when the industry has been in crisis and where the parent company has been through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, Mark has championed the interests of Holden at every turn,” Mr Reilly said.
“He has played a pivotal role in ensuring it is an important part of the new GM. He achieved a great deal in a relatively short time and returns to a key role in GM where he will remain a strong friend of Holden.
“Alan brings extensive leadership experience, exceptional product and commercial knowledge and a real passion for Holden.
“He has worked for GM across four continents and brings crucial continuity of leadership for Holden in what is a highly competitive marketplace.
“It is strong endorsement of the Holden leadership team that the Chairman and MD was able to be selected from within existing ranks,” Mr Reilly said.
Mr Batey was appointed to his sales and marketing role in January 2006 and is also a member of the Holden Board of Directors.
He was previously Vice President of Commercial Operations for GM Daewoo, a position he took on in 2002 when the new business was formed.
He previously held various sales and marketing assignments with Vauxhall before transferred to GM’s European Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, and held a number of senior roles in GM’s European operations.
Mr Reilly also revealed that, Mike Arcamone would take over as president and CEO of Gm Daewoo, replacing Michael Grimaldi, who is retiring.
Mr Arcamone joined GM in 1980 and has held several important positions in manufacturing and global purchasing in North America and Europe.
Currently he is vice president of GM Powertrain Europe, and is responsible for 10 manufacturing plants and five engineering lo