General Motors Co. has named Matthew Tsien to replace Bob Socia as president of the carmaker's operations in China. The appointment is effectiveJanuary 1, 2014, upon Socia’s retirement. Tsien will report directly to GM chief executive Dan Akerson instead of China Chairman Tim Lee. Akerson remarked in a statement that when Socia became president of the China operations in October 2012, GM's plan was for him to help prepare his successor, who turned out to be Tsien.
Akerson said that Tsien is now ready to step into his new role, adding that they wish Socia "the best in his retirement." Tsien will be taking over GM's Chinese operation as the carmaker gets ready to spend $11 billion through 2016.
GM is on pace to sell 3 million vehicles in 2013 and is planning to step up promotions of its Chevrolet and Cadillac brands to defend its crown as the as top foreign automaker spot in China. According to company sales data compiled by Bloomberg, GM was outsold by Volkswagen in three of the past four quarters. It was the top foreign carmaker in China in 2012.
GM has restructured its overseas operations in August to separate China. It named Lee chairman of Chinese operations and Stefan Jacoby in charge of over 100 countries and territories. The international operations unit under Jacoby will transfer its base to Singapore from Shanghai in the second quarter of 2014. Both Lee and Tsien will report to Akerson.
“We appreciate Bob’s 38 years of dedicated service and his significant contributions to GM in all of our regions,” said Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO of General Motors. “When Bob was appointed president of our largest market, our plan was for him to help prepare his successor. Matt is now ready to step into the role and we wish Bob the best in his retirement.” [source: GM]