Hyundai Canada appoints industry veteran as its new Chief Operating Officer
Donald Romano joins the Hyundai team, bringing extensive Canadian and international automotive experience
MARKHAM, ON--Jan. 6, 2014: Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. is pleased to announce an experienced industry veteran, Donald Romano, has today joined the organization as its Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Romano brings with him a wealth of automotive experience accumulated over 29 years through increasingly senior positions in Canada, the United States, and overseas with the Nissan, Mazda, and Toyota brands. The newly-created position of COO underlines Hyundai Auto Canada's recent growth in the market and is a demonstration of its ability to invest in key talent to fuel further development.
Mr. Romano's key responsibilities will be sales, marketing, parts, service, product and strategic planning, and public relations. He will report to Steve Kelleher, President and CEO. With the addition of Mr. Romano, Mr. Kelleher will spend more time managing the organization's overall strategic direction as well as lead the company's IT, legal, human resources, and finance departments.
"I'm truly looking forward to becoming a member of the team at Hyundai," said Mr. Romano. "Through the course of my career I have watched with great interest as the Hyundai business has grown to become a dominant player both in Canada and around the world. They have been - and still are - a fierce competitor with world-class products, so it's a real honour for me to become a part of this great, fast-paced, well-respected organization."
"I'm delighted that Don has agreed to join us at Hyundai and I'm eager to work with him to grow our business," said Mr. Kelleher. "Sales of Hyundai vehicles have doubled in the last ten years, and our employee headcount has grown by 54 percent over the same time period. Effectively, we've grown to the point where we need additional C-level leadership. As I look to the future of our company, and the amazing new products that will be coming with it, Don has the opportunity to shape and nurture the Hyundai organization as it enters the next phase of its development."
After entering the automotive industry with Nissan North America in 1985 as its Corporate Product Marketing Manager, Mr. Romano joined Mazda Motor Corporation in 2000. Starting as a National Brand Manager in the company's California office, he progressed through a number of sales and marketing focused positions before becoming the Managing Director and President of Mazda Canada in 2006. In 2010, his responsibilities at Mazda expanded. With the added title of Chief Marketing Officer, he led the company's marketing activities across North America. In 2012, Mr. Romano became the Senior Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer with ALJ International - his most recent position prior to Hyundai - where he established Toyota Saudi Arabia as the largest independent distributor for Toyota in the world with sales exceeding 300,000 units.
Mr. Romano has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University and an MBA from Pepperdine University in California.