Major staff changes at GM SA

2013-06-21 10:20

General Motors SA has made Ian Nicholls vice-president for operations in Port Elizabeth and changed jobs of a number of other senior staff.

He gets responsibility for the company’s manufacturing, purchasing, quality, planning and vehicle sales, service and marketing operations in South Africa. In his new role he reports directly to Mario Spangenberg, president of GM’s Africa operations.


He will strengthen GM SA operations that support domestic and sub-Saharan export sales. Spangenberg explained: “The company is well positioned to enter the next phase of its growth plans with three new vehicle assembly programmes recently coming on stream. This appointment enables us to further streamline product, distribution and customer support.”

Nicholls began his automotive industry career in 1990 at the then Delta Motor Corporation in Port Elizabeth where he held a number of positions. He completed his articles at Deloitte and Touche, has a Bachelor of Commerce degree (cum laude) from the University of Port Elizabeth and is a chartered accountant.

Other GM SA appointments

Michael Sacke has been appointed vice president and chief financial officer for GM Africa responsible for African financial operations. Sacke has been with the company since 1997 and has occupied various roles in the legal and finance departments.

Wendle Roberts has been appointed as vice president of engineering for GM Africa responsible for the company’s engineering activities. A major focus will be ensuring that vehicles are engineered to meet the varying conditions of Africa markets. Roberts has been with the company for over 34 years and has worked in various areas.

Chris Thexton has been appointed as vice president of human resources (HR) for GM Africa responsible for the company’s HR operations in Africa. Thexton joined the company 23 years ago and worked in various roles within the HR department. 

Denise van Huyssteen has been appointed as manager of communications for GM Africa, responsible for corporate, product and internal communications. She joined the communications department in 2000 and from 2011 has also been responsible for communications in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sean Gaskin has been appointed as chief information officer for GM Africa, responsible for IT operations of the company’s manufacturing and distribution sites in Africa. He has been with the company’s IT department for five years.

All the above appointments are effective immediately and will be based at the company’s headquarters in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. All the positions indicated above also report directly to Mario A.  Spangenberg, president of General Motors Africa.