Peffer, 50, is essentially taking over the role of Michael Cole, Kia's former president, who left in June to become CEO of Hyundai Europe. At the time of Cole's move, Kia said the president's post would be assumed by Sean Yoon, CEO of Kia Motors America and Kia Motors North America.
"This promotion is well deserved," Yoon said in a statement about Peffer's new role, "and with five all-new and significantly redesigned vehicles slated for introduction in 2021, Bill will play an increasingly important role in the growth and maturation of the Kia brand."
To support the product drive, Kia promoted Russell Wager to vice president of marketing, reporting to Peffer.
Wager, 55, has been director of marketing operations at Kia Motors America since July 2019 and previously worked at Mazda.
Kia has a lot on its plate following the successful launches of the Telluride crossover in 2019 and the smaller Seltos a year later. As 2020 came to an end, Kia was launching the fourth-generation midsize Sorento crossover, which will come for the first time in a hybrid version and later in 2021 as a plug-in hybrid. The Sorento PHEV will mark a significant step forward as the brand moves aggressively toward electrification.