Holden names Mark Bernhard as new boss

Holden has announced that Australian Mark Bernhard (pictured) will take up the role of Chairman and Managing Director from June.

Bernhard, who will become the company's first Australian-born boss in 25 years and its sixth in six years, began his career in the automotive industry at Holden in 1986.

He has held senior finance roles across GM’s global operations over the past four decades and his current position is Vice President and CFO of Shanghai GM.

The appointment was confirmed by General Motors' International MD Stefan Jacoby in Sydney on Friday.

“Mark’s knowledge of GM Holden, our region and GM’s global operations will serve him well in his new role,” Jacoby said in a statement.

“He will champion the ongoing transition of GM Holden to a National Sales Company and the repositioning of the Holden brand for long-term growth and profitability.”

Bernhard visited Australia last week to speak with GM Holden dealers. He will succeed GM Holden Interim Managing Director and CFO Jeff Rolfs.

Berhard said in a statement, “While I know that the company is going through a very challenging transition, I also know that it is has a very bright future. I understand that the transition from being a manufacturing company to a National Sales Company is not easy.

“We need to ensure that those that leave us as a result of this change are treated with dignity, respect and most of all, support. “

Bernhard will be tasked with taking the company through the shutdown of its factories in 2017 and transforming it into a car importer.

In recent weeks there has been speculation that some Holden workers may lose their jobs sooner than they expected.

News Corp quoted anonymous insiders at the car maker who said they’ve been told up to 500 of the 1,600 jobs at Holden’s Elizabeth factory will be cut by March.

Holden denied the report.