• Jun 30, 2010
Hyundai Motor America can officially stick another feather in its cap. The company has successfully managed to woo Mike O'Brien from the clutches of Toyota and back onto the Korean automaker's team. O'Brien worked at Hyundai for a full 14 years as a product planner before jumping ship and heading over to Toyota as a corporate manager. Now he's back, and will be filling the role of vice president of product and corporate planning under the Hyundai flag.
So what does that mean for future Hyundai products? Any hypotheses we throw out now would be little more than guesses, but according to the press release, O'Brien is a car guy first and foremost and spends his off-time buzzing around in a decommissioned French fighter jet. Here's hoping some of that need for speed translates into a few more aggressive pieces of machinery from Hyundai. Clear the jump for the press release.

[Source: Hyundai]


Show full PR text
Hyundai Taps Mike O'Brien to Head Product and Corporate Planning

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Hyundai Motor America today announced that Michael J. O'Brien will return to the Hyundai team as vice president of product and corporate planning. O'Brien has spent the last 14 years at Toyota Motor Sales as a corporate manager within the corporate planning division. Prior to this, he worked at Hyundai Motor America from 1987 to 1996 in key product planning, parts and marketing roles, including managing Hyundai's ProRally motorsports program. In his new position, O'Brien will guide the continued development and expansion of Hyundai's model lineup and also lead business planning and corporate strategy efforts. He will report to President and CEO John Krafcik.

"It's great to have Mike O'Brien back on the Hyundai team," said Krafcik. "Mike's a real car guy with strong technical credentials, yet he's also a smart and passionate business leader. That's a rare skill set, and we're delighted to have Mike leading our product and strategic functions at Hyundai Motor America."
In addition to his experience at Toyota and Hyundai, O'Brien has held key positions in marketing, product planning and field operations with Nissan Motor Corporation and Ford Motor Company.
O'Brien earned his Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and business administration from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He is an avid recreational pilot, currently flying a restored French fighter jet in various exhibitions on the West Coast.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      wow...Hyundai is really after Toyota that their even goin as far as hiring Toyota from Toyota ?

      Try to be different Hyundai...stop trying to be Toyota because you cant. Build into your own brand.

        • 4 Years Ago
        lol if you mean hyundai can't build cars like those famous toyota's that won't stop then your right miketim, trust me hyundai is leaps better then toyota is today. only a fool would buy a death trap on wheels car aka toyota ..lets face it friend, toyota's day is over and their less then anything great to breg about now of days, unless crying ceo's, cars that won't stop, a automaker that lies and try to hide recalls is your type of deal then lol brag about your death trap on wheel automaker" toyota" Note to hyundai please think hard about hiring anyone from toyota because their record of late is not wroth much. please don't rehire this guy and become what toyota is today, death traps on wheels rolling with a blind eye to the truth
      • 4 Years Ago
      If "Corporate Manager" had anything to do with product, his stint at Toyota could be considered less than stellar. Hopefully he sees the current status at Hyundai and only improves it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why ???? worked for Hyundai for 14 years....... cars during those 14 years their cars weren't that great. Why is he such a great catch ????
      Who did his job 4 or 5 years ago ??? Keep that guy
        • 4 Years Ago
        That guy is the big boss, Krafcik... Interesting that the top guy is a former "product" guy in charge of product planning, maybe a first (or at least very rare)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Remember it says he is head of product planning, not design. He will be in charge of researching and finding out what products will sell best in the market. I don't think Hyundai is stupid enough to ruin their current success by messing with formulas that work.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does this mean that Hyundai's going to axe their 'fluidic design' concept, drop the Genesis Coupe, and turn the rest of their lineup into dull-looking-and-driving appliances? I certainly wouldn't be surprised.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!





      Hyundai better have snatched up the only GOOD designer at Toyota, the one everybody ignored and **** on. The one......who could make the AE-86 work
      • 4 Years Ago
      oh lord Hyundai, no don't hire any mess from Toyota aka death traps on wheels. I cringed reading this, god I hope nothing Toyota influence wise makes it into Hyundai cars which are so much better today then those awful junk that "death traps on wheels cars aka Toyota " sells today .I prey Hyundai know what it is doing !
      • 4 Years Ago
      oh lord Hyundai, no don't hire any mess from Toyota aka death traps on wheels. I cringed reading this, god I hope nothing Toyota influence wise makes it into Hyundai cars which are so much better today then those awful junk that "death traps on wheels cars aka Toyota " sells today

      I prey Hyundai know what it is doing !
      • 4 Years Ago
      I dont think people should be so worried. Chairman Chung has a FIRM grasp of the company. He wont allow complacency or appliance like products go on in his company while he is at the helm.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Considering the "product planning" debacle around the FT-86 concept (bring a damn sportscar to market already, toyota!), this news makes me very nervous.

      Hyundai, don't stop now.
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