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GM India CEO to head Korea unit

Kaher Kazem, chief executive officer of General Motor’s India was named new head of the US automaker’s South Korean operation, the company said Thursday.

“We are pleased to have Kaher taking over GM’s key operations in Korea,” said GM Executive Vice President and President of GM International Stefan Jacoby. “As a car guy, Kaher has had a long and distinguished career in manufacturing, business operations and leading key markets in the automotive industry. He has the experience and global perspective to lead GM Korea to a sustainable and competitive future.” 

Kaher Kazem (GM Korea)
Kaher Kazem (GM Korea)

GM also intends to appoint Kazem as chairman of the board of directors, it added.

Kazem replaces current CEO James Kim who is leaving the top post of the automaker as of Aug. 31. Last month, GM Korea said Kim was to leave the company to focus on his role at the American Chamber of Commerce as the chairman of the organization. The decision was his own, the company said.

Kazem has led GM’s operation in India since 2016 and is said to have played a key role in restructuring its management there.

The new CEO joined the US automaker’s unit in Australia as a senior engineer in 1995, and started overseas operation in Thailand as a vice president there. He also served as the managing director of GM’s operation in Uzbekistan before India. In 2015, Kazem joined the GM India business, first as chief operating officer, then promoted as president in 2016.

“I am excited to lead GM Korea,” said Kazem. “I will work closely with our team and business partners to turn around GM Korea’s financial performance and ensure the sustainability of our business. Chevrolet is a strong brand in Korea. I look forward to building on its success and continuing to put our customers in Korea at the center of everything we do.”

The appointment came amid rumors that the US carmaker plans to leave the country, due to rising costs, financial loss and poor sales.

The carmaker has been denying the rumors, saying that South Korea remains as GM’s strategic hub in production, design and engineering.

By Cho Chung-un (
Korea Herald daum