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GM Holden names its new chairman and MD

Global footprint: Gerry Dorizas is a Greek native who has served in senior roles at VW India and Japan, Hyundai Europe and Fiat Greece.

Former Volkswagen India and Japan boss Gerry Dorizas named new head of Holden

Holden logo28 Feb 2014

GM HOLDEN has announced the appointment of former Volkswagen India boss Gerry Dorizas as its new chairman and managing director responsible for both the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Greek-born Mr Dorizas replaces Canadian Mike Devereux, who has relocated to Singapore as vice-president of sales, marketing and aftersales for GM’s International Operations division.

Mr Dorizas commences his new role tomorrow, March 1.

Chief among his tasks will be overseeing the structural change at Holden as it winds down its manufacturing operations – and slashes some 2900 jobs – over the next three years, closing its Elizabeth assembly plant near Adelaide, Global V6 engine plant at Port Melbourne and related facilities.

Like the two other car-makers in Australia, Ford and Toyota, Holden will become a national sales and distribution company once its factories close by the end of 2017.

Mr Dorizas was most recently president and CEO of Volkswagen Group Sales in India and chief representative of the Volkswagen Group of Companies in India.

He is also a former president and CEO of Volkswagen Group Japan, and has served as vice-president of Hyundai Motor Europe GmbH in Germany (2005-2007), president and managing director of the Fiat Group in Greece (2000-2005) and head of Fiat Japan (1993-1999).

He also had a brief stint as chief operating officer of Inchcape Holdings (Toyota) in the late 1990s.

Mr Dorizas will report to GM executive vice-president and president GM International Operations, Stefan Jacoby, who said the appointment was the right one as Holden made a seismic shift in the nature of its business.

Interestingly, Mr Jacoby said GM wanted “strong local passion” from its various international executives.

Over the past four years, Mr Devereux was regarded as a passionate advocate for the local car-making business before Holden announced its planned closure last December.

Former Holden chairman Mark Reuss also staunchly defended the company’s Australian car-making operations, although as one of GM’s top executives in Detroit, he was also one of those behind the decision to close Holden’s factories down.

“Gerry has the right industry-leading experience and credentials to lead GM Holden through a significant program of change, as it transitions to a national sales company,” Mr Jacoby said.

“GM International Operations (GMIO) is undergoing a transformation that is committed to driving our markets toward success.

“As part of this transformation, the GMIO team is working to build a global organisation with strong local passion, ownership and entrepreneurship.”

Mr Dorizas said he was energised to take up the new Melbourne-based role.

“Around the world, Holden is renowned for the strength of its product and professionalism of its people,” he said.

“I am energised by the opportunity to lead a talented and passionate team and to guide one of Australia’s strongest, most iconic brands into its next phase.”

The role as boss of Holden has long been seen as something of a fast-track into more senior GM management, although much of that was likely contingent on the fact that it had its own unique vehicle line and a local factory.

Mr Devereux is now a vice-president of the regional centre that oversees GM Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

His predecessor Alan Batey is now vice-president of GM North America, reporting to Mr Reuss, who is now executive vice-president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain.

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