Mark Bernhard yesterday began his tenure as Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden.Beginning his career with Holden in 1986, Mr Bernhard has held senior finance roles across General Motors globally in his 29-year career, and said he feels excited and privileged to be returning home to Holden to lead a great Australian company.
“Holden has a bright future and it’s an honour to be able to lead the talented and passionate team here,” Mr Bernhard said.
“Having started my career with Holden, I understand the strength of the brand and its importance to Australia and our customers. My job is to build on that for future generations.
“Our company is going through a challenging transition to a National Sales Company and I am determined we will treat our people with the respect and dignity they deserve. But we must also look forward and Holden’s future success will be built on three pillars: brand, product and customer experience.
“Re-establishing Holden as Australia’s favourite car brand means a total focus on our customers, redefining the Holden brand and launching 24 world-class vehicles by 2020. We are taking the long view, this is not going to happen overnight. It is going to be challenging and we have plenty of hard work ahead but I’m energised by our potential.
“Our mission is to build a future that honours our brand, our people and our heritage, with the best vehicles from across the General Motors world. We have the right plans and the right people to make Holden a success story for many years to come.
“I’d also like to thank Jeff Rolfs who has done an outstanding job as Interim Chairman and Managing Director. Jeff will resume his role as Holden’s Chief Financial Officer today,” he said.
The commencement of Mr Bernhard in the role of Chairman and Managing Director is the latest step in the implementation of Holden’s long-term plan. Over the past 18 months, Holden has announced a number of programs and initiatives that continue to lay the foundation for future success:
- Holden will launch 24 major vehicles and 36 drivetrain combinations over the next five years, including all-new entrants in the crucial SUV market segment;
- Cascada convertible, Astra hatch and Insignia sedan launched in 2015;
- More than one-third of Holden’s future product portfolio will be sourced from Europe;
- All-new Holden Spark confirmed to launch Q1, 2016;
- Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria;
- Holden’s Global Design centre continues to contribute to local and global product programs;
- The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on with Holden’s next-gen large car;
- Holden will have a true sports car in its future product portfolio;
- Home Ground Advantage, Holden’s $5 million / 10 year commitment to grass roots sporting clubs has been a huge success with 1600 entries in the first round;
- Holden has launched the biggest Capped Price Servicing Program in the country, covering every Holden ever built
Mark Bernhard Biography
Mark Bernhard previously held the position of Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Shanghai GM in Shanghai, China, a position he held since November 2011. He was also a member of the GM-SAIC joint venture’s Executive Committee.
Mark began his GM career with Holden in 1986, going on to hold various positions in the Finance department.
He relocated to Zurich, Switzerland, in 1996 as Manager of Budgets and Consolidation for the then GM International Operations. In 1998, Mark was appointed Director of Financial Reporting and Analysis for GM International Operations in Detroit. Two years later, he took on the role of Director of Special Projects at GM Asia Pacific in Singapore, working on the acquisition of Daewoo Motor Company.
In 2002, Mark became Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Shanghai GM. He was appointed Chief Financial Officer of the GM China Group in 2005. He returned to Australia in 2007 as CFO and Executive Director of Finance for GM Holden, navigating the global financial crisis.
Mark has a Bachelor of Business (accounting) degree from Monash University, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Deakin University. He is an FCPA with CPA Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
Mark received the Silver Magnolia Award from the Shanghai Municipal Government, which is given to expatriates for their contribution to the economic development of the city. He also received the 2014 Australia China Alumni Award for Banking and Finance.