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Holden chief Devereux to leave car-maker

Shanghai bound: Holden managing director Mike Devereux will fill roles based in Shanghai and Melbourne until a successor at the Australian car-maker is announced.

Mike Devereux to leave Holden to take up more senior GM role

Holden logo25 Oct 2013

HOLDEN is on the hunt for a new managing director after the car-maker revealed today its current boss will take up a position in Shanghai at the end of the year.

Mike Devereux, appointed to the senior role of the General Motors subsidiary in March 2010 after heading up GM’s Middle East operations, will take on the position as GM’s consolidated international operations vice-president of sales, marketing and aftersales from November 1.

A new head of Holden is yet to be announced.

However, rather than leave Holden rudderless as it continues to hold talks with the Australian government in an effort to secure its future here beyond 2016, Mr Devereux will remain in the chief role for the Australian and New Zealand market until a successor is named.

It is expected a successor will named some time in December, with Mr Devereux staying until the end of 2013.

GoAuto understands the move has no bearing on the future of the car-maker in Australia, which continues its talks with the government over future funding for its local manufacturing operations.

Holden has refused to speculate on the progress of these talks, saying they are confidential.

Once he takes on his new role, Mr Devereux will report to GM’s executive vice-president of consolidated international operations, Stefan Jacoby.

“We have a diverse, complex region,” Mr Jacoby said. “Mike's extensive international and cross-functional knowledge of our business will be critical as we look to position CIO for success in the coming years.” Holden said in a statement that Mr Devereux started his career at the GM of Canada St Catharines manufacturing facility, and had held positions across the company in marketing, aftersales, brand management and e-business.

Before his appointment as managing director and chairman of Holden, Mr Devereux headed up GM’s Middle East operations. He is also credited with globalising GM's approach to search marketing and websites as the US-base car-maker’s executive director of digital marketing and customer relationship management.

On his appointment to the top spot at Holden, Mr Devereux said he was here for the long haul, with a mandate from parent company General Motors to ensure the Australian company survived and thrived as one of only seven GM sites capable of designing, building and selling its own products.

At just shy of four years, his appointment to Holden marked an end to a string of changing seats at Holden as its parent company fought back from the brink of bankruptcy – almost abandoning its Australian operations in the process.

Mr Devereux’s appointment followed that of British-born Chris Gubbey, Australian Alan Batey, current head of GM US Mark Reuss, and long-serving American Denny Mooney.

His tenure has seen the roll-out of Cruze hatch and sedan production in Adelaide, and a major makeover of the Zeta-based Commodore that will carry the car through to 2016 – the same timeframe as the public purse for car-makers starts to dry up.

Under his stewardship, Holden’s 1100 unionised workers have agreed to sweeping wage cuts and changes to work hours in an effort to shore up the long-term viability of the car-maker.

It is also deep in talks with the Abbott-led coalition government over long-term access to the public purse to ensure it can build the next generation of the Cruze small car, as well as the vehicle that will replace the current Commodore large car, but adopt a global platform and retain the Commodore name.

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