DETROIT -- Mercedes-Benz USA said today that Alan McLaren is leaving his job as vice president for customer services to return to his native Australia.
He will be succeeded on Jan. 1 by Gareth Joyce, who is now head of after-sales at Mercedes-Benz Netherlands. McLaren made the decision to leave the company because his five-year contract at the U.S. subsidiary is expiring at the end of the year and he did not want to take an assignment with Daimler AG elsewhere in the world, said Geoff Day, a spokesman for Mercedes-Benz USA.
McLaren, 45, is departing for personal reasons. His decision to resign is unrelated to the recent firing of former Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Ernst Lieb, according to sources familiar with the matter.
McLaren and Lieb worked together for Daimler and Mercedes-Benz in Australia.
McLaren oversaw the development and construction of Mercedes' new company-owned Mercedes-Benz Manhattan dealership in New York. During his tenure, he launched numerous initiatives to improve dealer service and quality.
In an announcement to employees and dealers, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Herbert Werner praised McLaren and said: "During this time with MBUSA, Alan has overseen a remarkable period of growth and development within the customer services area of our business."
Joyce joined Daimler in South Africa in 2004 managing the technical and service division. He was appointed head of service in May 2006. When the parts and service divisions in South Africa were integrated, he became head of after-sales in January 2007. He took the same job at Mercedes-Benz Netherlands in July 2009.
He is a native of South Africa.