Bob Pradzinski, the No. 2 sales executive at Hyundai Motor America behind CEO Dave Zuchowski, has left the company, Hyundai said today.
There was no immediate word on a successor for that post.
"I can tell you that we expect to fill the position quickly," U.S. spokesman Chris Hosford said in an email.
Pradzinski, 55, was a 26-year Hyundai veteran. He was promoted to vice president of national sales in January 2014, putting him in charge of the Korean automaker’s relationships with U.S. dealers and fleet buyers. Before that, he was executive director of sales operations. Earlier in his career, Pradzinski worked at the American Motors Corp. and Suzuki Motor of America Inc.
Pradzinski “will be sorely missed,” Zuchowski said in a statement today, calling his work “a major factor in helping drive Hyundai from a small automaker in the U.S. to one of the leading players in this market.”
Still, his departure, effective today, is just the latest in a long string of sudden, unexplained departures for high-ranking American executives at Hyundai. Pradzinski himself took over as sales chief to fill a hole left by Zuchowski’s promotion after the similarly abrupt departure of CEO John Krafcik.
Pradzinski is leaving just after former Subaru marketing chief Dean Evans took over as HMA’s chief marketing officer, replacing Steve Shannon, who left Hyundai in November to "pursue other interests.”
Hosford said he had no further information on the circumstances surrounding Pradzinski’s departure other than that he “elected to step down.”
In a Twitter message this morning, Hyundai said it sold 72,012 vehicles last month, a 2.9 percent increase and the brand’s best ever August tally. Hyundai’s sales have increased 2.5 percent for the year to date.