Hyundai Motor replaces lead designer, R&D head in major reshuffle under younger Chung

December 17, 2021

Hyundai Motor Group said Friday it replaced its top foreign executives in design and research & development (R&D) in the latest regular reshuffle that includes more than 200 promotions to senior positions, in a generational change under the new leadership of Chairman Euisun Chung.

Peter Schreyer, a renowned former Audi designer who has led Hyundai Motor’s design management, is stepping down and will serve as an adviser to the automobile company, Hyundai said in a press release.

Lee Sang-yup, head of Hyundai’s Global Design Center who was promoted to an executive vice president, will take over Schreyer’s post.

Albert Biermann, the head of Hyundai’s R&D division, will be replaced by Park Jung-guk, president and head of the hydrogen fuel cell division at Hyundai, the company said. Biermann will continue to serve as a technical adviser.

This file photo shows Hyundai Motor Group's headquarters in southern Seoul on June 3, 2021. (Yonhap)
This file photo shows Hyundai Motor Group’s headquarters in southern Seoul on June 3, 2021. (Yonhap)

Joining the automaker’s high-end Genesis brand as the new chief brand officer is Graeme Russell, known for his long stints in luxury car marketing for Bentley Motors and as brand ambassador for the Macallan distillery. Russell will lead Genesis’ global brand, product and retail communications.

Hyundai also promoted 203 employees to senior executives, the largest ever, according to the company, which marks a generational change after Chairman Chung, who succeeded his father, Chung Mong-koo, in October last year, took the helm of the country’s No. 2 auto conglomerate.

The latest reshuffle signals that the junior Chung, 50, will further push his ambitious drive for future mobility, such as hydrogen-powered cars, self-driving, infotainment, and other advanced information and communications technologies, to boost the automaker’s competitiveness.

Choo Kyo-woong, head of the automaker’s electronics and infotainment development; Kim Heung-soo, chief of future growth planning and electric vehicle (EV) division; and Lim Tae-won, chief of advanced technologies and hydrogen and fuel cell department, were among those elevated to executive vice presidents.

The company also hired Jin Eun-sook, former chief technology officer at NHN Corp., as the new executive vice president and head of the ICT innovation division.

About a third of the newly promoted executives are in their 40s, with about 37 percent of the R&D staff earning promotions, according to Hyundai.