FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Jan. 24, 2020 – Following two successful stints at Hyundai Motor America, Michael O’Brien, the vice president of product, corporate and digital planning, has elected to depart the company to pursue other interests. O’Brien’s distinguished Hyundai career spanned nearly two decades, where he helped lead Hyundai’s remarkable business growth, product expansion, quality initiatives and connected car evolution in the U.S. O’Brien will officially depart on Feb. 3 and an active search for his replacement is underway.
“I would like to thank Mike for his tremendous contributions to Hyundai’s success. It’s impossible to quantify the impact he made in getting our business and product portfolio to where it is today,” said Brian Smith, COO, Hyundai Motor America. “We all wish Mike clear skies and tailwinds on the next leg of his career journey.”
O’Brien first joined Hyundai in 1987 where he held key roles with Hyundai’s product planning team and parts and accessories division. He initiated and maintained product refinement and quality initiatives, led Hyundai’s efforts to standardize safety equipment and technologies, and spearheaded programs to improve dealer profitability and customer loyalty.
After departing in 1996, O’Brien returned in 2010 to guide the strategic development of Hyundai’s entire model lineup, identify opportunities to extend into new segments and tailor Hyundai vehicles for the U.S. market. He also led Hyundai’s corporate planning effort, which included short and long-range strategic planning, market research and analytics, and pricing.
As the auto industry evolved, he also added responsibility in heading Hyundai’s IT business strategy. He was successful in making Hyundai the first automotive brand to offer Android Auto and oversaw the launch of some of Hyundai’s recent technological innovations, such as the Digital Key, while continuing to lead advancements in its Blue Link connected car technology.
Among many industry recognitions, he was named a 2019 Automotive News All-Star in product development.
Hyundai Motor America
At Hyundai Motor America, we believe everyone deserves better. From the way we design and build our cars to the way we treat the people who drive them, making things better is at the heart of everything we do. Hyundai’s technology-rich product lineup of cars, SUVs and alternative-powered electric and fuel cell vehicles is backed by Hyundai Assurance—our promise to create a better experience for customers. Hyundai vehicles are sold and serviced through more than 830 dealerships nationwide and nearly half of those sold in the U.S. are built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Hyundai Motor America is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, and is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.
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