Chief Operating Officer Donald Romano to assume role of President and CEO on
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
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
"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
"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,
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
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
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. Kelleher.
"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 trend."
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
SOURCE Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
For interviews or additional information, please contact:
Chad Heard, Public Relations Manager, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. Office: (905)
948-6712, Mobile: (416) 559-9640, Email:email@example.com
Patrick Danielson, Public Relations Specialist, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
Office: (905) 948-6876, Mobile: (416) 518-5852,
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:
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:
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CO: Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
NI: AUT 2575 WNEWS
-0- Apr/14/2014 19:58 GMT
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