As General Motors’ Holden division prepares to shut down all manufacturing operations and transition into a sales division, the company continues to ponder the next individual to take the reins. According to Australia’s Drive, the decision will be pushed into early 2015.
After the sudden departure of Gerry Dorizas, who was barely in the job for seven months, Holden has been in search of a replacement who will see out its manufacturing closure in 2017 in the smoothest way possible. That’s quite a task for whoever is tapped for the job. A Holden spokesperson was approached by Drive at the launch of the refreshed Holden Colorado, and was not able to provide more specific details.
“The process is still ongoing and it is more than likely to be early next year,” the spokesman said. “As you go through the search for someone of that calibre, the information is kept very confidential.”
Dorizas’ successor will be the sixth boss at Holden in six years. Dorizas abruptly left the brand last month to “pursue other opportunities”, and has apparently left the country of Australia. We can’t imagine it’s an easy time to be a white collared executive at Holden.
One name seems to be coming up more often than others, and that is Australian born General Motors executive Mark Bernhard. Bernhard currently is the chief financial officer for Shanghai General Motors China, but is rumored to have made the shortlist for potential successors. He was also chief financial officer of Holden between 1986 and 1996. The man has a history with his home brand, and it seems it may be working in his favor.
Asked whether the new appointment would come from within the General Motors stable, the spokesman said: “I wouldn’t even begin to speculate.”
Taking hold of the Holden brand is typically seen as a very favorable operation within General Motors, although with 2017 now looming, the next chapter of Holden may be more challenging than past power figures had to deal with. Those past figures include Mark Reuss, now GM’s head of global product and supply chain, and Mike Devereux who has now taken a role with General Motors Asia-Pacific.