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March 22, 2010

AUSTRALIA: GM Holden names new chief

British born Mike Devereux, 44, has been named chairman and managing director of General Motors' Australian unit Holden, effective immediately.

British born Mike Devereux, 44, has been named chairman and managing director of General Motors’ Australian unit Holden, effective immediately.

He hoined Holden from his previous post as president and managing director of GM Middle EastOperations, based in Dubai, and replaced Alan Batey, 46, who is now vice-president of sales and service for Chevrolet in the United States.

The top job at Holden has been close to a revolving door for several years with several executioves passing through only briefly on their way to more senior posts elsewhere in the GM empire.

GM international operations president Tim Lee said Devereux’s diverse, global experience and passion for cars made him ideally suited to lead Holden in Australia and New Zealand.

“Recent leaders such as Mark Reuss [now GM North America president] and Alan Batey have set a very high benchmark in dedication to the people and products that define the famous Holden brand – and Mike will be no exception,” Lee said.

“Coupled with an absolute passion for cars, Mike brings rare experience across almost every area of the automotive business including manufacturing, product development and senior management roles in GM’s international operations, marketing, sales and aftersales including the then newly formed e-Business group.

“Mike’s most recent outstanding work in the Middle East, which has traditionally been an important export market for [Chevrolet-branded] Holden, makes him a strong advocate for his new home and the historical brand even before he steps on Australian soil,” he said.

Devereux’s career with General Motors has spanned 26 years in Canada, the US and the Middle East. He first joined the company in 1984 as an engineering co-op student as part of the St Catharines Engine and Foundry Complex within GM of Canada, in Ontario.

He joined GM’s service parts operations international group in 1989 working in product development and sales, followed by the role of launch manager for the 2000 Cadillac DeVille and in subsequent director positions in e-Business and the global sales, service and marketing organisation.

Though born in Britain, Devereux moved to Toronto with his family as a child. He holds abachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from the GMI Engineering & ManagementInstitute and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard.

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