Having arrived only last August, he's not even had time to enjoy one full Australian summer before being packed off to Russia by General Motors.

Holden chairman and managing director Chris Gubbey has been named a General Motors Europe vice president and managing director, GM Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and takes up his new post (in a less hospitable climate) on 1 February.

Gubbey's replacement at Holden is Mark Reuss, executive director of global vehicle systems and integration.

GM Asia Pacific chief Nick Reilly said: "This is a fairly unusual move for GM. As a general rule, GM doesn't move executives after such a short time, especially in such an important market as Australia, but Chris' unique expertise in working within partnerships and in developing countries made him the ideal candidate to grow GM's business in Russia at this critical time.

"Mark is the ideal replacement for Chris. His extensive leadership experience, as well as his product engineering and manufacturing knowledge, will be hugely beneficial to GM Holden. His previous work on global programmes and systems integration are very appropriate for Holden's future."

Reuss joined GM in 1983 and has led various product organisations including being responsible for overseeing the production studios.

Gubbey joined GM Holden in August 2007 after seven years in China. Under his leadership, Shanghai GM - GM's flagship joint venture in China - became China's largest manufacturer of passenger cars and the country's most advanced automaker.