Proton Holdings' current CEO Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Kenali will step down from his post at the end of September, parent company DRB-Hicom announced in a formal statement to the Malaysian stock exchange.
The move will pave the way for the appointment of a new CEO at Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional, the car manufacturing subsidiary of Proton Holdings, to be nominated by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group which acquired a 49.9% stake in the Malaysian national car company in June of this year.
Aside from some component manufacturing companies, the other major company within Proton Holdings is Proton Edar Sdn Bhd, the wholly owned distribution company.
DRB-Hicom retains a 50.1% stake in Proton Holdings and ultimate control of the company.
The move is expected to accelerate integration between Proton and its new foreign strategic partner and help reverse the Malaysian carmaker's dramatic market share decline in its home market over the last decade.
A new SUV based on the Geely Boyue model is scheduled to go into production at Proton's Tanjung Halim plant early in 2018. This is expected to be the first in a series of Geely based vehicles produced by Proton.
A report in China suggested Li Chunrong, previously deputy general manager at Dongfeng Honda Engine Company and now part of the Geely senior management team, may be the executive lined up to drive product integration between the two companies.