Hyundai Motor Co. shareholders elected the automaker's global COO José Muñoz to its board of directors last week in Seoul, a milestone for both Hyundai and Muñoz.
Bringing the Spanish-born Muñoz onto the board is significant because he is not of Korean descent, and the move "speaks to his success in North America and the trust the company has in him," a spokesperson from Hyundai Motor America said.
Muñoz also is CEO of Hyundai and Genesis Motors North America and Hyundai Motor America.
Hyundai's achievement in North America under Muñoz's guidance elevated it to become the third-largest automaker in the world by sales, according to the company.
Muñoz joined Hyundai in 2019 and helped the company boost its position in the critical U.S. market during the pandemic disruption and industrywide supply chain problems that followed.
In three years, Hyundai rose from ninth to fifth place in terms of sales volume in the U.S., helping North America deliver 24 percent of the automaker's global sales. North America is now Hyundai's largest single market.
In a statement, Muñoz said his appointment is a "testament to all the hard-working women and men of Hyundai and Genesis North America that continue to deliver exceptional results, including our retail partners, technical centers and manufacturing facilities. On behalf of all of us at Hyundai and Genesis Motors North America, we will continue to realize the vision of the company and execute the plan."
Muñoz earned a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Polytechnic University of Madrid and has an MBA from Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid.