The Indian and international auto industry has witnessed a host of leadership changes in March 2021.
Amidst the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic effect and several other headwinds the global auto industry is going through, a few key leadership changes were there in March 2021, the closing month of the current financial year, which has witnessed unprecedented events.
Here are the leadership changes that the auto industry in March 2021 has witnessed.
What happened in India?
Marc Llistosella who was supposed to replace Guenter Butschek as the new Managing Director and CEO of Tata Motors, won’t be able to join the homegrown auto manufacturer due to his inability to relocate to India for personal reasons, as the Tata Motor informed.
Hardeep Singh Brar filed his resignation as Director – Sales and Marketing of Great Wall Motors (GWM) to join Kia Motors as the National Head of Sales and Marketing. With two decades of experience in the auto industry, Hardeep Singh Brar is responsible for enhancing the South Korean auto manufacturer’s position in the Indian auto market and for enabling the next wave of growth for the car brand.
VS Parthasarathy, the President of Mobility Services Sector and Member of the Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra, filed his resignation to pursue personal interests. He will leave the group on April 1, 2021. VS Parthasarathy joined the homegrown auto manufacturer group back in 2000. He spearheaded the Mobility Services Sector (MSS) of the company, which is a growth driver and incubation platform for future investments in technology-driven mobility companies, with the vision of co-creating the ‘Future of Mobility’, by the Mahindra & Mahindra group.
Meanwhile, Anish Shah who is handling the responsibility of Deputy Managing Director and Group Chief Financial Officer of Mahindra & Mahindra will take over the responsibility of the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company with effect from April 2, 2021. He will be in charge of the position for a period of five years.
Saji Abraham, the Chief Marketing Officer of Classic Legends, has filed his resignation his papers and will be leaving the company on March 31, 2021. Also, Tarun Sharma, the National Sales Head of Classic Legends, has taken a sabbatical. Sharma continues to be involved in the Classic Legends’ business as an advisor. After making a successful comeback in November 2018, Classic Legends Pvt. Ltd, the manufacturer of the Jawa premium motorcycles, is certainly going to have a leadership crisis as there will be a leadership vacuum for the Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd-backed two-wheeler company.
Sivakumar P has joined the SAR Group as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the company’s electric vehicle business vertical. He will be reporting to the MD and CEO K Vijaya Kumar. Leading logistics service provider company Delhivery has appointed Pooja Gupta to its leadership team as the Chief People Officer. Pooja Gupta has over 18 years of experience in different geographies and industries. She has worked with SAP, Myntra, and Kalaari Capital.
Rajesh Kumar Singh has been appointed as the CHRO for the Indian government-sponsored InvIT (Infra Investment Trust) by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). He will be reporting to MD and CEO Suresh Goyal. Before joining NHAI InvIT, Rajesh Kumar Singh had spearheaded the HR functions for the Indian and African continent business wings of Caterpillar Rail for three years.
What happened in the international market?
German luxury carmaker Audi has appointed Jürgen Rittersberger as the next Chief Financial Officer, in place of Arno Antlitz who has been appointed as the group CFO at Volkswagen. Rittersberger will take over his new role as a member of the board for Finance and Legal Affairs in April 2021. Rittersberger has been serving as the General Secretary and Senior Vice President – Group Strategy, Volkswagen AG, since September 2018. Before that, between 2010 and 2018, he was the General Secretary and Senior Vice President – Corporate Development, Porsche AG.
Among other leadership changes, Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) Chief Executive Officer Richard Haas is set to retire from his role by the end of March 2021. He has been working with the M&M group since 2011. Haas started his journey with the Indian auto group as Senior Vice President of Product Development with more than 30 years of experience at Ford and Tesla Inc.
Stellantis, the brand formed by the merger of Groupe PSA and FCA has appointed Marc Lechantre as the head of the auto giant’s used vehicles business. Effective from March 1, 2021, he reports to Philippe de Rovira, Stellantis’ Chief Affiliates Officer. Lechantre joined Groupe PSA back in 2006 and remained Senior Vice President of used vehicles BU from January 2017. He also held a variety of key leadership positions for the Groupe PSA in Europe.
Among other leadership changes, global automotive supplier Marelli has appointed Sherry Vasa as the EVP, Chief People and Organization Officer. She will lead the newly-created people and organisation function of Mareli. Visteon Corporation has appointed Wei Wei as the Managing Director of Visteon China. He replaced William Lau, who has been appointed as Vice President, product delivery, in China. Self-driving car rental service provider Zoomcar has appointed Uri Levine as Chairman of its board of directors.
Volkswagen AG’s strategy chief Michael Jost has announced that he will quit after working more than a decade with the group, to focus on building smart boats with his family. Japanese car manufacturer Nissan Motor Co. Ltd has announced the appointment of Guillaume Cartier as the new Chairperson of Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania (AMIEO) region.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has announced that Ryan Patterson, President of its Asia Pacific business unit, will lead the integration of Cooper Tire with the company as Senior Vice President, Business Integration. Nathaniel Madarang, the Managing Director of Goodyear China, succeeds Patterson as the President of Goodyear Asia Pacific.
Also Read: Electric vehicles: How clean is “green”?