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Elsworth leaves Holden for Hyundai

Hail to the chief: John Elsworth has left Holden to take up a new role as chief operating officer at Hyundai Motor Company Australia.

Holden sales and marketing chief to take up new COO position at Hyundai Australia

22 Oct 2012

GM HOLDEN’S executive director of sales, marketing and aftersales, John Elsworth, has resigned after 22 years of service, moving to the newly created position of chief operating officer for Hyundai Motor Company Australia.

Mr Elsworth, who has spent his entire automotive career at Holden, will take up the new position on November 5, reporting directly to HMCA chief executive Edward Lee.

“I am delighted to welcome John to our organisation,” said Mr Lee. “His appointment reflects Hyundai’s intention to maintain its growth and success in the Australian market.”

The announcement of Mr Elsworth’s move to Hyundai was made on Friday afternoon, just hours after Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux issued a statement to the company’s dealer network.

Mr Devereux announced the promotion of sales director Philip Brook to the top sales and marketing job.

An additional structural change will see the Holden aftersales team, as well as Holden New Zealand managing director Jeff Murray, report directly to Mr Devereux.

The Holden chief paid tribute to Mr Elsworth, remarking that “John’s passion for the Holden brand in his 22-year career was one of his defining characteristics and his decision to leave was a difficult one”.

“Ultimately, John’s next career move within GM was to be an international assignment, but he and his family made the decision to stay in Australia long-term, rather than to begin an ISP (international service personnel) career.

“I’d like to thank John for his remarkable contribution to Holden over the years and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Mr Elsworth was promoted from marketing director to Holden’s sales and marketing chief in November 2009 after holding a range of senior executive roles within the organisation.

He replaced Alan Batey, who was promoted to chairman and managing director when Mark Reuss – who is now president of GM North America – returned to the US in 2009.

When Mr Batey followed Mr Reuss to Detroit a year later, Mr Devereux was reassigned from GM’s Middle East region to lead the Australian operations.

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