Delphi Automotive Systems (NYSE: Dph – news) Chairman, CEO and President J.T. Battenberg III, today announced leadership changes at Delphi’s Packard Electric Systems Division based in Warren, OH, and in the company’s Asia-Pacific region based in Tokyo.

David R. Heilman, president, Delphi Packard Electric Systems Division and a corporate vice president, will retire effective January 1, 2001, capping an illustrious 36-year career that oversaw consistent divisional growth, increased product responsibility and management of diversified global operations.

James A. Spencer, 47, is named president of Delphi Packard Electric Systems and remains a corporate vice president, replacing Heilman. Spencer, formerly president of Delphi’s Asia-Pacific region based in Tokyo, remains a member of the Delphi Strategy Board, the company’s top policy-making group. He will report to Rodney O’Neal, Delphi executive vice president and president, SAFETY, Thermal and Electrical Architecture sector.

Choon T. Chon, 54, is elected a corporate vice president and president, Delphi Asia-Pacific. He becomes a member of the Delphi Strategy Board. Chon was general director, Delphi Interior Systems, Asia-Pacific, and president, Delphi Korea. Spencer and Chon’s appointments are effective Nov. 1, 2000.

“Dave Heilman is a name synonymous with excellence at Delphi,” said Battenberg. “All of Delphi has benefited from his leadership, experience and ability to teach others to improve operations from the factory floor to the board room. We appreciate and thank him for his many years of dedicated service.”

Heilman began his career with Delphi Packard Electric, formerly General Motors Packard Electric, in 1964, as a trainee serving in a number of engineering and product positions before being named director of engineering for the division in 1984.

He was named director of Packard International in 1991, served as director of Packard’s North American Business Unit two years later, and was elected a GM vice president and named general manager of Packard Electric in 1994. He was elected a Delphi corporate vice president and president of Delphi Packard Electric Systems in November 1998.

Spencer joined the former Delco Remy Division of GM in Anderson, Ind., as a college graduate in training in 1976. He held numerous engineering and operations assignments at Delco Remy facilities before being named executive vice president of GM’s Korean joint venture, Daewoo-HMS Industries in 1989, based in Taegu, Korea.

He returned to the U.S. in 1991 as the Delphi customer director at the former GM CPC Group. In 1992, he was named plant manager of Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems plant 4 and 5, and later became manager of Delphi Saginaw’s Athens, Ala., operations. In 1996, he was named director, marketing, ventures and planning and sales for Delphi Saginaw. He was elected a corporate vice president and president of Delphi’s Asia-Pacific Region February 1, 2000.

Chon is a graduate of Seoul National University in Korea, and Brown University in Rhode Island where he received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. He began his professional career in 1976 when he joined General Motors Research Labs in Warren, MI, as an associate senior engineer. He then worked with the Ford Motor Company as a principal staff engineer in the Engineering and Manufacturing Staff from 1978 until 1988, when he moved to the Chrysler Corporation as executive engineer, Vehicle Engineering.

Chon returned to Korea in 1995 to become an executive vice president and board member of SsangYong Motor Co. In 1998, he joined Delphi as general director of Delphi Interior Systems, with the responsibility for operations in Asia Pacific. In 1999, he was given additional responsibilities as president, Delphi Korea.