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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Boss is here to stay: Holden

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Boss is here to stay: Holden

BARRY PARK

December 23, 2009 - 4:16PM

Holden has dismissed speculation that its freshly appointed managing director would soon join the revolving door of executives passing through the post.

The car maker said today that Alan Batey, who has headed the Australian car maker for three months, was here to stay and had no plans to leave the company to take up a senior position with US-based parent company General Motors.

GM is casting around to find a replacement to head up its fleet and commercial operations division after the departure of its current general manager, Jim Campbell, to head up the car maker’s Chevrolet brand.

US-based fleet management magazine Automotive Fleet today quoted unnamed industry sources as saying Batey — who has led Holden since the departure three months ago of Mark Reuss to head the car maker’s North American operations — was the ‘‘top candidate’’ for the job.

‘‘General Motors did not confirm or deny the possibility of Batey being named general manager of GM Fleet and Commercial Operations,’’ the article says.

However a spokesman for Holden said today that the claim that Batey could soon leave the Australian car maker were ‘‘completely and utterly false’’.

‘‘[Alan Batey] said the rumour was completely and utterly baseless,’’ the spokesman said. ‘‘He said that’s the rumour mill not speaking the truth.’’

Holden has rotated through four managing directors in less than three years. The high turnover is largely the result of GM struggling to restructure itself after its near-collapse, sparked by the global financial crisis that caused buyers worldwide to shy away from new-car showrooms.

Holden’s carousel started spinning after Denny Mooney left the position in May 2007 to take on higher responsibilities in the US, and was replaced by the former head of GM’s China-based markets, Chris Gubbey.

Gubbey left Australia early last year to head up GM’s fast-growing Russian markets, and was replaced by high ranking US-based executive Mark Reuss.

Batey, a 30-year GM veteran who has also held other management roles in Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South Korea, stepped up into the Holden hot seat after GM announced in July that Reuss would return to the US.

link:

http://www.smh.com.au/business/boss-is-here-to-stay-holden-20091223-lcz7.html

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