Mercedes-Benz AG has named the current leader of its Canadian subsidiary to head its Atlanta-based U.S. unit as CEO beginning Jan. 1.
Dimitris Psillakis, 53, was also named head of marketing and sales for Mercedes-Benz Cars North America.
Mr. Psillakis will be responsible for operations in both countries, together comprising 2,800 employees and 440 dealers, and will continue to lead the Canadian unit directly until a replacement is named early next year.
A globally experienced executive, Mr. Psillakis replaces Nicholas Speeks, who departed after 40 years with Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz’s Germany-based parent company. Mr. Speeks had headed up the brand’s China unit before coming to Atlanta to replace Dietmar Exler, who had opened the new headquarters in Sandy Springs in 2018.
Since Mr. Speeks’ departure, vice president of marketing Drew J. Slaven has been serving as acting CEO of MBUSA and will continue to do so until Mr. Psillakis takes up his post officially at the new year.
A native of Greece educated in the U.K., Mr. Psillakis is a globally experienced executive credited with expanding the Mercedes-Benz brand in key markets around the world.
He started with the company as a trainee in Greece in 1992, eventually becoming head of passenger cars there in 2001. He then went to Brazil in 2099 and tripled sales volume in six years before heading to South Korea as managing director in 2015, where he expanded that market to the fifth largest in the world for the company.
His appointment comes just as Atlanta’s other German giant announced the replacement of its top executive: Porsche Cars North America named Kjell Gruner, also 53, to replace Klaus Zellmer as CEO.