Kia has announced a restructure of its UK business and confirmed that it is not seeking a replacement for managing director Michael Cole, who was promoted to chief operating officer at Kia Motors Europe last November.
Paul Philpott, president and chief executive officer of Kia Motors UK, will become responsible for running the UK business and has reorganised his senior management team to take on other key operational functions.
Yaser Shabsogh, currently sales director, becomes commercial director with immediate effect and will be responsible for the quantitative growth of the company. Simon Hetherington, currently dealer development director, becomes business development director responsible for qualitative growth.
Philpott said: "Following Michael Cole's move to Kia Motors Europe it was clear to me that we had an opportunity to change the structure of the organisation to best support our ambitions for the future. These two roles will report directly to me and will permit a stronger focus on our dedication to increasing the Kia brand's strength in the UK.
"Over the coming years we must seek to continue to grow our annual vehicle sales and parts turnover but also enhance the quality and planning of our business and its processes in many areas."
Shabsogh's new role will include responsibility for all sales, aftersales, marketing, fleet and supply chain activities. Hetherington's responsibilities will encompass long-term strategy planning, business process improvement and network capacity and customer experience.
Philpott, previously chief operating officer of Kia Motors Europe, became the first non-Korean President at any Kia subsidiary in Europe when appointed to the UK operation last June. Previously the role was perceived as a figurehead position as the Korean car company consolidated then grew its sales in Europe.