Chief Operating Officer Donald Romano to assume role of President and
CEO on May 1
MARKHAM, ON, April 14, 2014 /CNW/ - After 28 years with Hyundai Auto
Canada Corp. and serving as its President and CEO since 2002, Steve
Kelleher has elected to retire on April 30. Under Mr. Kelleher's
guidance, the Hyundai brand has enjoyed a period of tremendous growth
and is now one of the dominant players in the Canadian automotive
industry. Over the past 10 years in particular, the company's dealer
network has grown to 210 locations, sales and market share have more
than doubled, and Hyundai products have won numerous, prestigious
Canadian automotive awards.
On May 1 Chief Operating Officer Donald Romano will be promoted to
President and CEO, replacing Mr. Kelleher.
"It's with a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride that I am able
to announce my retirement from Hyundai Auto Canada," said Mr. Kelleher.
"Working for Hyundai in Canada has been an incredibly rewarding,
exciting, and challenging experience. My retirement is something I have
been working toward for some time and am able to make this step because
we have found the right person in Don Romano to take Hyundai to the
next level of success."
Mr. Romano joined Hyundai Auto Canada on January 6 after accumulating
over 29 years of automotive experience through increasingly senior
positions in Canada, the United States, and overseas representing the
Nissan, Mazda, and Toyota brands. In particular, Mr. Romano was
President of Mazda Canada from 2006 to 2012. In 2010 his
responsibilities at Mazda expanded to include Chief Marketing Officer
and guide the company's marketing activities across North America.
Mr. Romano's extensive operations and marketing background will be key
as Hyundai continues to elevate its brand into a more premium position
in the industry. The introduction of the all-new Genesis premium sedan
at the Toronto Auto Show this year was his first step in that
direction, and will be followed by the launch of the all-new Sonata on
April 16 at the New York International Auto Show.
"Hyundai has achieved unprecedented sales growth over the past decade.
To continue that trend, it will be my responsibility to challenge all
aspects of our operations and elevate our performance in every area of
our business" said Mr. Romano.
"We would like to recognize Mr. Kelleher's unparalleled service to the
Hyundai brand and congratulate him on a truly exceptional career," said
Tak Uk Im, Executive Vice President & COO, Head of International
Operations Division, Hyundai Motor Company. "Due to his courage and
skilled leadership, Hyundai grew remarkably and emerged as a leader in
Canada. For 28 years he served with honour, distinction, and the
strength of character. We are, and shall remain, forever grateful."
After 10 years at the Ford Motor Company of Canada, Mr. Kelleher joined
Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. in 1986; just three years after the storied
South Korean brand first entered the Canadian marketplace. Initially
working in the Parts Department, Mr. Kelleher quickly rose through the
ranks and eventually became the Director of Parts and Service in 1995.
In 1997, he was named Vice President of Sales, Marketing, Parts, and
Service and retained the position until his promotion to President and
CEO in 2002.
Hyundai's most dramatic growth in the Canadian market was during Mr.
Kelleher's tenure as President and CEO. In 2002, the company sold
66,917 new vehicles from a line-up of products bearing six nameplates
and found at 156 dealerships nationwide. In 2013, a record total of
137,100 vehicles were sold - more than double what was sold in 2002 -
from 210 dealerships showcasing 12 nameplates.
Further, under Mr. Kelleher's watch, three Hyundai vehicles have won the
country's top automotive honour: the Genesis premium sedan won 2009
Canadian Car of the Year, followed by the Elantra compact sedan with
the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year award, and finally the Santa Fe Sport
won 2013 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. All three awards
demonstrate the company's broad-based strength in the premium vehicle,
compact car, and compact SUV segments.
Finally, the company also launched its first Corporate Social
Responsibility program in 2012. Hyundai Hockey Helpers is a national program that provides grants to help kids pay for
equipment and registration fees to play organized hockey. In the past
two years, the program has helped 4,778 kids get into the game. Mr.
Kelleher grew-up playing hockey and attributes much of his career
success to the lessons he learned from the sport.
"Hockey teaches kids how to work with a team, resiliency, good
sportsmanship, and the value of hard work. On or off the ice, those are
skills every child should have the opportunity to learn," said Mr.
"On behalf of all the Hyundai employees and dealers that have worked
with Mr. Kelleher over the years, I would like to thank him for his
visionary guidance," said Mr. Romano. "The single best way we can
honour his investment of time and energy is to dedicate ourselves to
our business and ensure Hyundai continues to succeed. He has led us on
a path to new heights and it's now our responsibility to continue that
HYUNDAI AUTO CANADA CORP.
Hyundai Auto Canada, established in 1983 and headquartered in Markham,
Ontario, is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai
vehicles are distributed throughout Canada by Hyundai Auto Canada and
are sold and serviced through 210 dealerships nationwide. Learn more at
Image with caption: "After 28 years with Hyundai Auto Canada Corp., Steve Kelleher has decided to retire on April 30, 2014. Don Romano, currently the company's Chief Operating Officer, was announced as his replacement and will assume his title and responsibilities on May 1, 2014. (CNW Group/Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140414_C9769_PHOTO_EN_39220.jpg
Image with caption: "Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. Chief Operating Officer Don Romano will be promoted to President and CEO effective May 1, 2014. He is replacing Steve Kelleher who has decided to retire after 28 years with the company. (CNW Group/Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140414_C9769_PHOTO_EN_39218.jpg
SOURCE: Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
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