Holden confirms NZ chief to lead local marketing after Harland exits

GM Holden confirms departure of executive director of marketing, Mark Harland, and announces a leadership restructure

GM Holden has confirmed its New Zealand managing director will take up the A/NZ marketing reins following the departure of Mark Harland from the automotive business.

Harland left GM Holden this week after spending a little over a year ago as its executive director of marketing. He had originally joined General Motors in 1997 and worked across Europe, the US, China and Singapore, leading as marketing and customer experience director of the GMI Vehicle Sales Service and Marketing leadership team.

Harland is being replaced by current GM Holden and Isuzu Trucks New Zealand chief, Kristian Aquilina, who will now assume responsibility across all three roles.

Kristian Aquilina
Kristian Aquilina


The news comes amid reports that the brand experienced one of its worst local sales months in 20 years in February, according to an article posted on Wheels magazine. The statement is based on preliminary sale data for new car sales, published by VFACTS.

Harland joined the automotive company in 2016. During his tenure, he’s credited with striking relationships with Surf Life Saving Australia and Mardi Gras and oversaw Holden’s naming rights sponsorship of the NRL Holden State of Origin and inaugural NRL Holden Women’s Premiership league.

“Mark brought a fresh perspective to Holden during a different period of transition,” said Holden chairman and MD, Mark Benhard, in a statement. “We thank him for his passion and wish him well on his future endeavours.”

Aquilina has been with the General Motors group for more than 20 years, working across sales, marketing, product management and government relationships. He was appointed NZ chief in 2015.

“Under Kristian’s leadership the Holden brand and sales have continued to strengthen in New Zealand,” Bernhard said.  “Kristian’s understanding of product, marketing, customers and the Australian motoring landscape is second to none. We are looking forward to Kristian advancing the Holden business in Australia.”

Bernhard also stressed the group’s belief that sales were going to improve.

“We’re passionate about our future and confident that our sales will improve. Marketing is a key part to ensuring this,” he said.  

Aquilina also recognised the significant time of transformation for the GM Holden business. “We’re establishing a new nameplate in Equinox and relaunching an Australian icon in the all-new Commodore,” he commented.

“Plus with our extensive SUV offering and Colorado, we’ve got exceptional products in all the right segments. I’m passionate about Holden and our products – they are the best we’ve ever had. My job is to bring people on the journey with us.” 

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu   

 

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

4 creative skills that will be useful forever

In recent times, the clarion call from futurists, economists, marketers, educators and leaders the world over is one of slight panic, “The world is changing and you’re not ready for it!” And of course, they make a very good point.

Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

Speakers, trainers, co-authors

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

3 ways to leverage the talents of your team to avoid disruption

​According to the World Economic Forum in its most recent The Future of Jobs report, the most important skills for the future are not technical, task-oriented skills, but higher-order skills such as creativity, social influence, active learning, and analytical thinking.

Gihan Perera

Futurist, leadership consultant

An interesting update considering that today is the easiest way it has ever been to measure contribution to the business as well as the h...

Frederic

State of the CMO 2019: Tenure shortens, pressure is on as marketers strive to demonstrate impact

Read more

I thought this was what Salesforce Audience Studio (formerly Salesforce DMP) was supposed to do. How are a CDP and a DMP different? I'm c...

Tony Ahn

Salesforce announces customer data platform

Read more

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

The popularity of loyalty programs is diminishing, though I'd say it is because customers are savvy enough to recognise when a loyalty pr...

Heather

It’s time for marketers to rethink their approach to ‘loyalty’

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in