Krafcik Leaves as CEO of Hyundai, Will Be Replaced by Sales Boss Zuchowski

December 27, 2013
Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik announced he will step down after five years of leading the company. His successor, current executive vice president of sales David Zuchowski, will be taking over the CEO position on January 1, 2014. Krafcik’s departure, while abrupt and unexpected, comes as his five year contract with Hyundai expires. During his tenure, he led the company from an econobox builder into a leading, premium-focused contender in the automotive marketplace. He oversaw the redesign of Hyundai’s product line and was leading when the 2012 Elantra won the North American Car of the Year award. But Krafcik will pass the baton to an experienced contender. Zuchowski comes from a long, 33-year career in the automotive industry. He began in 1980 at Ford, worked there for many years, and then moved on to Mazda as head of sales before leaving for Hyundai. At Hyundai, his leadership oversaw a meteoric rise in sales for the company over the past several years. In 2011, Hyundai’s market share grew to 5.1 percent and sales reached a record high of over 703,000 sales in 2012. But there is evidence that Hyundai needs a little bit of a boost after lagging this year. Zuchowski’s leadership as CEO will bring a sales-focused perspective to the company that is now just starting to plateau in its sales growth.
Source: Hyundai