Following the surprise resignation of Carlos Zarlenga as the top leader of General Motors in South America last week, the automaker just appointed Santiago Chamorro as the new President and CEO of GM South America, effective immediately. The new leader of GM’s South American operations is a 27-year veteran of the company who has held various senior positions in the region and at global headquarters.
Santiago Chamorro is taking the reins of GM South America at a highly challenging time, with the mission of stabilizing operations and leading the implementation of the ambitious 2020-2024 strategic investment plan for the future of the subsidiary. However, his most urgent task is to ramp up production as the industry emerges from the global semiconductor shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic to regain business leadership in the region.
“Santiago has a deep knowledge of our South American markets, as well as strong relationships through our global organization,” said GM Senior Vice President and President, GM International, Steve Kiefer. “Working with our strong local team in South America, I am confident that our business can continue to focus on our customers, and work with our partners to deliver sustainable and profitable business performance in the future under Santiago’s leadership,” he added.
In his new role, Santiago Chamorro will report to Kiefer and will relocate from Michigan, where he most recently held his position as GM Vice President, Global Connected Services – to São Paulo. GM also appointed Jeff Massimilla as the new GM Vice President, Global Connected Services to replace Chamorro. The Colombian executive said he is honored and hopes to build on the solid foundations of GM’s business in South America.
“It is a pleasure and an honor to take on this new position as South America president and managing director,” said Santiago Chamorro. “I am looking forward to reconnecting with so many colleagues and partners as we drive the business forward in South America together. Combining our outstanding team and partners, with our winning portfolio and the factories resuming production, we have the right fundamentals to grow and sustain our strong position in the region,” he added.
Before taking up his most recent role in Detroit, Santiago Chamorro built a solid career with various leadership positions in GM’s South American operations. Chamorro held positions as President of GM Colmotores in Colombia; General Manager of sales, service and marketing of GM South America; and CEO of GM Brazil – the main and largest subsidiary of the company in the region.