South Australian premier Jay Weatherill has said that the departure of Mike Devereux, Holden’s managing director, has made negotiations between the car maker and governments for further assistance more difficult.
"I agree that we are in a very dangerous situation," Weatherill told the ABC.
"For every day that the Federal Government delays in responding to Holden's proposition about co-investing in the future of this plant, we are getting a day closer to closure.”
Devereux announced on Friday that he had accepted a promotion to General Motors’s – Holden’s parent company – consolidated international operations, based in Shanghai, China. He will work as the vice president of sales, marketing and after sales.
Devereux has been managing director of Holden since 2010, overseeing massive job cuts and helping secure $275 million in assistance from federal and state governments last year, which he said at the time would secure the company’s future in Australia until 2022.
However, the car maker’s situation has worsened since then and it is currently seeking further subsidies from the federal government, which News Corp has reported could be worth as much as $500 million.
The outgoing managing director also encouraged workers to agree to a three-year pay freeze this year, though refused to lead this by example.
Devereux’s post at GM begins in November, though he will remain head of Holden until a replacement is named at the end of the year.
He will answer to Stefan Jacoby, the consolidated international operations executive vice president.
"Mike's extensive international and cross-functional knowledge of our business will be critical as we look to position CIO for success in the coming years," Jacoby said in a statement.
Image: ABC News