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Hyundai executive shuffle sees US CEO Kyung Soo Lee depart

Hyundai's N performance head also shifts to lead autonomous-car efforts.

Former Hyundai Motor America CEO Kyung Soo Lee
Kyung Soo Lee was named CEO of Hyundai Motor America in September 2017.

Hyundai Motor America CEO Kyung Soo Lee will leave his position after little more than a year as the automaker shuffles several executives company-wide. Lee was named HMA CEO in September 2017, but Automotive News reports today that he will leave that post and return to work for Hyundai in its home market of South Korea.

Hyundai Motor America has yet to announce a replacement CEO. A spokesman told Automotive News that the move was, "part of a regular groupwide personnel change." Lee was the successor to Hyundai CEO Dave Zuchowski, who was fired in late 2016 after reportedly failing to meet ambitious sales-growth targets.

In the US, Hyundai and sibling brand Kia have been asked to testify before a Senate committee about reported engine fires. And through the end of September, combined Hyundai and Genesis sales were down almost two percent year-to-date.

Overseas, Hyundai also moved two high-profile executives. Thomas Schemera, who came from BMW's M performance brand to work on Hyundai's N performance offerings, will instead now be responsible for product planning of autonomous, connected and electrified vehicles, Automotive News reported. Hyundai offers the Veloster N and i30 N and is planning to launch more N-brand vehicles in the future.

Meanwhile, former Bentley stylist Luc Donckerwolke will reportedly become design head. That position was previously held by Peter Schreyer, who was recently instead named head of design management.