DETROIT — Nearly four years after becoming head of General Motors’ luxury brand, President Johan de Nysschen has left the company to pursue other interests, General Motors announced last week.
Replacing de Nysschen as president of Cadillac is Steve Carlisle, who most recently served as president and managing director of GM Canada. Assuming Carlisle’s former titles is Travis Hester, the company’s now former vice president of global product programs.
“We appreciate Johan’s efforts over the last four years in setting a strong foundation for Cadillac,” said General Motors President Dan Ammann. “Looking forward, the world is changing rapidly, and, beginning with the launch of the new XT4, it is paramount that we capitalize on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change. This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regards.”
De Nysschen first joined General Motors in July 2014 as executive vice president before being named president of Cadillac the following month. Prior to his stint at GM, he served as president of Infiniti for two years. Prior to that, de Nysschen led the American brand of Audi between 2004 and 2012.
As for his replacement, Carlisle is credited with leading the resurgence of the GM Canada franchise. Last year, GM was No. 1 in automotive retail sales in Canada, with Buick, GMC, and Cadillac achieving their best ever sales years. Carlisle also reestablished key relationships in Canada with retailers, employees and government officials, the company said.
“The potential for Cadillac across the globe is incredible and I’m honored to be chosen to be part of mapping that future,” said Carlisle. “I look forward to building on our current momentum as we continue on our mission to position Cadillac at the pinnacle of luxury.
Carlisle, who will report to Ammann, began his GM career in 1982 as an industrial engineer co-op student at the Oshawa Truck Assembly Plant. Over the course of his career with General Motors, Carlisle has held several senior leadership positions that have taken him across the globe, including vice president of product planning, vice president of U.S. sales operations, and president and managing director of Southeast Asia operations.
As for GM Canada, Hester brings extensive global leadership and global produce development experience to his new role. Since 2016, he has led the team responsible for balancing all aspects of vehicle development, including quality, cost, appearance, purchasing, customer acceptance and performance targets.
Hester, who will report to Alan Batey, president of GM North America, began his career in 1995 in Australia as a technical support engineer to GM Holden. He held a variety of positions in Australia before moving to the United States in 2005. Since then, Hester has held engineering positions in both the United States and China, including chief engineer for several global premium luxury vehicles, the Buick Regal, LaCrosse, and Chevrolet Sonic. He became vice president of global product programs in 2016.