Hyundai conducts executive reshuffle after earnings shock

By Cho Chung-un
  • Published : Oct 29, 2018 - 14:37
  • Updated : Oct 29, 2018 - 14:44

Apparently seeking a change after the earnings shock last week, Hyundai Motor carried out a major reshuffle of its executives on Monday.

The South Korean carmaker promoted Thomas Schemera, executive vice president of its high-performance vehicle division, to head its product planning and strategy division. The former BMW M executive is now in charge of setting the direction for technology development and product planning in light of the fast-changing market and innovations in technology, the company said in a statement.

Thomas Schemera (Hyundai Motor)

Schemera, who joined Hyundai Motor in March, achieved positive results for the company’s motorsports division as well as in the marketing of high-performance vehicles such as the i30 N and Veloster N, it added.

The company also promoted Luc Donckerwolke, incumbent head of the Hyundai Design Center, to chief design officer for Hyundai and its sister company, Kia Motors. The Belgian car designer, whose innovative designs have been featured on many Hyundai vehicles including the luxury brand Genesis, will set a “next-generation design strategy” for both Hyundai and Kia. Lee Sang-yup, vice president for car styling, will replace Donckerwolke as head of the design center, it added. 

To redirect its R&D efforts into more promising commercial ventures, Hyundai also turned its fuel cell R&D group into a business unit and named Kim Se-hoon, vice president in charge of FCEV development, as head of the new division.

The company also launched a research lab to bolster its artificial intelligence-related divisions and hired Kim Jeong-hee, former intelligence group leader of Naver Labs, to head it.

In line with its strategy of putting more emphasis on its regional offices, the carmaker established a headquarters to oversee its Russia operations.

The carmaker saw the biggest drop since 2010 in its operating profit for the third quarter, further lowering the value of its stocks. Hyundai Motor shares were trading at 104,500 won as of Monday at 2 p.m., around 10 percent lower than a week earlier. 

By Cho Chung-un (