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Holden boss Gerry Dorizas resigns suddenly after just six months

Joshua Dowling
28 October 2014
www.news.com.au

Holden is reeling after the shock departure of its fifth boss in six years.

Gerry Dorizas has left the troubled car company unexpectedly, just six months after taking on the role.

Greek-born Mr Dorizas was the first person in decades to be hired from outside General Motors to run Holden.

While his sudden resignation has thrown the struggling car giant’s plans for sales growth into doubt, it is not expected to impact Holden’s manufacturing shutdown and redundancy payments to workers.

Prior to his Holden appointment in March 2014, Mr Dorizas had worked for Volkswagen in India since 2007, and Mercedes-Benz, Fiat and Hyundai prior to that appointment.

A statement from Holden said: “Mr Gerry Dorizas has resigned from the position of Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden to pursue other opportunities, effective immediately.”

President of General Motors’ international operations, Stefan Jacoby, said Mr Dorizas had taken the Holden role at a difficult period and had implemented a number of measures to transform the business from a vehicle manufacturer to an importer.

“General Motors is 100 per cent committed to the Holden brand and its long term success in Australia,” Mr Jacoby said in a media statement.

Holden Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Rolfs, will serve as interim managing director during the search for a permanent replacement.

Mr Rolfs, from Canada, has been with General Motors for 22 years but only arrived at Holden six months ago.

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Press Statement - GM Holden

General Motors (GM) today announced that Mr Gerry Dorizas has resigned from the position of Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden to pursue other opportunities, effective immediately.

GM Executive Vice President and President of GM International Stefan Jacoby said: “General Motors is 100% committed to the Holden brand and its long term success in Australia. We’re focused on winning with customers in Australia and New Zealand, and are moving quickly to name the right leader to drive our brand and business to the next level.”

“The foundation has been built to transform GM Holden in Australia, and we are determined to maintain momentum to continue to push towards our strategic objectives,” Mr Jacoby said.

Mr Jacoby said Mr Dorizas had taken the reins of GM Holden at a difficult period and had implemented a number of measures to transition the business to a National Sales Company when domestic manufacturing ceases at the end of 2017.

“We thank Gerry for his contribution to GM Holden and wish him well in his future endeavours,” Mr Jacoby said.

GM Holden Chief Financial Officer Jeff Rolfs will serve as interim Managing Director of GM Holden until the recruitment process is concluded. Mr Rolfs is a 22-year industry veteran. He is currently CFO at GM Holden, and was previously Vice President of Finance and CFO at GM Canada.



 

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Re: Holden Boss quits after 6 months

Too gutless to stick it out knowing he was going to be be proven wrong on market projection (we'll be #1.........lol)

Don't let the door hit you on your way out you clown
 

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Re: Holden Boss quits after 6 months

I'm surprised that anyone is surprised.

His appointment seemed like "We can't damage any of the family, let's get some outside guy to take the heat'. He will become the fall guy, blamed for the unpopular decisions so the next guy who gets the job can try out his teflon suit.
 

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The next guy will be a temp as well.

There are no Holden takers for this job at the moment because of the tensions behind the scenes - the total cost of closing down the circus is slowly dwarfing the cost of the Zeta platform development 10 years ago. And there is a lot of pressure from Jacoby to minimise this cost (he made some silly cost predictions last December).

And besides most staff are waiting for their packages at the moment, not much work happening, the morale is rock bottom, LinkedIn profiles are all up to date. Better a $250K+ package in your pocket now than a job with no prospects and security.
 

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Re: Holden Boss quits after 6 months

What Holden engineers?

there are none left
September 16, 2014: 400 Holden engineers face axe
According to a source close to Holden, up to 400 of the company's 600 largely Melbourne-based engineering workforce may be given their marching orders by as early as October this year.
Ford Asia Pacific picking up more engineering work: Another boost for local Ford engineering team

Recent efforts to hire new engineers have pushed the Australian development team to about 1100 employees – a number Mr Holland said was now the right size and would not undergo any more significant growth.
 

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The necessary skills of a CEO are quite different for a company in transition from manufacturer to importer than either a manufacturer or an importer.
Transition? There is no transition from manufacturer to importer, Holden already imports most of their cars.

The "transition" that all GM PR materials relate to (as per GM PR media manual) means effectively "letting go" 90% of the company staff and selling off the remaining company assets.

Holden at the moment is technically insolvent due to staff redundancy costs (including final salary pensions for most staff), and keeps asking Detroit for money. Hence all Holden key finance staff are now ex-Detroit trying to contain this expanding black hole. And there is no family silver to pay for it all, most of it was sold off to plug Detroit's hole pre-bankruptcy.

There is no more funny GM accounting business allowed here (accounting write downs and all the other creative accounting b/s), GM now have to kick the piggy bank to cough up some real tangible cash and pay their Australian staff. We're looking here at $400M+ for redundancy pay, and almost $1B for pensions. To put that into perspective, the cost of Zeta was under $450M in cash.

It now appears that the cost of closing down a profitable engineering and manufacturing division of GM is proving more costly than a new clean-sheet vehicle platform engineering/development/production ramp up, and Jacoby is trying very hard not to end up with an egg on his face for recommending Holden for the chop last year.

Dorizas was just a puppet, with no authority to make any decisions anyway, his job was to keep the media and dealer network entertained to divert their attention from the bloodshed.

When you work at a circus you must expect to work with clowns.
 

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Re: Holden Boss quits after 6 months

I don't put much stock into anything Stefan Jacoby says. He gets passed around from manufacturer to manufacturer like a soccer ball.
Stefan Jacoby, AKA Teflon, does a very important job in the automotive industry: he's hired by companies to do the dirty work, e.g.. closing down factories, restructuring, etc. He makes problems disappear.

Need to fire staff or dealers but are too afraid of the consequences? Just hire Stefan Teflon Jacoby, he will take full responsibility and blame onto his shoulders, get his paycheck, and then move on.
 

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It now appears that the cost of closing down a profitable engineering and manufacturing division of GM is proving more costly than a new clean-sheet vehicle platform engineering/development/production ramp up, and Jacoby is trying very hard not to end up with an egg on his face for recommending Holden for the chop last year.
if this is the case, then GM should reverse its decision and keep Holden manufacturing in Australia.
 
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