Carlos Zarlenga leaves GM and the company’s presidency in South America

Carlos Zarlenga leaves GM and the company's presidency in South America

Carlos Zarlenga, president of GM Brazil since 2016, asked to leave

Career| 25/08/2021 | 6:19 pm

Company informs that executive decided to seek new opportunities


Unexpectedly by the market, Carlos Zarlenga decided to leave General Motors and the presidency of the company in South America. According to a statement released by GM in the late afternoon of Wednesday, 25, the executive wants to “seek other opportunities”.

Zarlenga’s successor has not been announced and there is no forecast when this will be done. GM South America’s financial director, Roberto Martin, assumes the company’s command in the region on an interim basis.

An economist graduated from the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Zarlenga went through some of the most turbulent moments in GM’s history in Brazil. Just three years after assuming the presidency of the Brazilian operation, early in 2019, under strong pressure from the head office in the United States, he announced that the company could no longer accumulate losses in the region and that factories, jobs and investments were at risk. It managed to obtain tax incentives from the São Paulo government and converted the crisis into an investment program of R$ 10 billion until 2024, and carried out the renewal of the main Chevrolet products sold in the region, including the Onix line and the brand’s first SUV produced in São Caetano do Sul (SP), the Tracker.

With the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the new plan went to the drawer while GM tried to overcome the crisis, still maintaining sales leadership in the Brazilian market until the end of last year. After announcing the resumption of investments in early 2021, a new blow came with the widespread lack of semiconductors, which caused the shutdown of production lines in Brazil (for five and a half months in the case of Gravataí/RS) and the loss of the first place. Under such adverse conditions, it will be difficult for any executive to put the company’s balance sheet back in the blue as the parent company demanded two years ago.

In the statement that informs the departure of Zarlenga, the president of GM International, Steve Kiefer, thanks the executive for the contribution to the company. “Carlos has been a driving force for change, not just in our business, but in the auto industry in South America. Under his leadership, GM is making a historic investment to supply global vehicles and build on more than 100 years of success. of Chevrolet in the region,” he stated in a statement.

Argentine Carlos Zarlenga, 47, has been with GM since 2012, when he was named the company’s chief financial officer in South Korea, and the following year he took over as chief financial officer (CFO) in South America. the operation in Brazil, a position that from 2017 was extended to the Mercosur presidency and since 2019 to nine South American countries (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay). Prior to joining GM, Zarlenga worked for more than 15 years at General Electric in Europe, Asia and the United States, where he held financial positions.

Tags: Career, Carlos Zarlenga, General Motors, GM, South America, president, transition, coronavirus, pandemic, Covid-19.


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