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Car Manufacturer management news

Changes to manufacturer's management teams happen often, this week is no exception. Here's a brief overview of Skoda's and Peugeot's recent management changes.


Skoda UK gains new operations director


Martin Barrow-Starkey has been appointed the new head of operation at Skoda UK, where he will be responsible for vehicle sales, both retailer and fleet. Barrow-Starkey moves to Skoda, one of Volkswagen's subsidiary brands, from the main Volkswagen Group where he has most recently been head of group parts operations.


He has an engineering background and worked for services and facilities company Carillion for 18 years, serving as sector director for the latter five years. He joined the Volkswagen Group in 2011. Since joining, he has overseen a period of sustained growth in parts sales, leading the Trade Parts Specialists organisation to a Volkswagen Group record of £500.3m parts sales in 2013.


Barrow-Starkey replaces Duncan Movassaghi, who has been appointed head of service and parts at Volkswagen UK passenger cars. He will start his new role on April 1st 2014.


PSA Peugeot Citroen names state-backed chairman


PSA Peugeot Citroen's board has confirmed the appointment of French civil servant Louis Gallois as it's next chairman, as the company prepares for a 3billion euro tie up with China's Dongfeng Motor Group.


Gallois won the board's endorsement to replace chairman Thierry Peugeot after the founding Peugeot family agreed to support the French government's choice of candidate. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault's office said in a statement Gallois' experience and talent would be "an asset for PSA, which will need exemplary governance over the next few years".


Paris-based Peugeot last month announced a rescue deal in which it will sell shares to Dongfeng and the French government, reducing the family's stake to match their equal holdings of about 14 percent.


The family will see it's board presence halved to two full members, outgoing chairman Thierry and cousin Robert Peugeot. Thierry's sister Marie-Helene will leave the board, while another Peugeot cousin, Jean-Philippe, remains as a non-voting member. Dongfeng's board members will be Xu Ping et Liu Weidong, respectively the Chinese group's chairman and deputy general manager. Former Renault executive Carlos Tavares is taking over as chief executive from Philippe Varin later this month. The change of chairman is also part of the deal's terms.


London based ISI Group analyst, Erich Hauser, commented, “We've long been critical of the family's involvement in the business. As such seeing the family lose influence over the board as a step in the right direction. The big question is whether three equally large shareholders will find it easier to control Peugeot than one family did.”


We'll keep you updated on more manufacturer management news as it becomes available.

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