Former chief executive at GM takes driver’s seat at rival firm

Updated: June 2, 2011

Just a month after announcing that he had retired from General Motors East Africa Ltd as chief executive, Mr Bill Lay has moved on to rival firm CMC Motors.

The Daily Nation has learnt that the former General Motors managing director joined CMC on May 1 this year as its chief executive officer.

His new employers, however, are yet to officially announce the appointment although sources from the company confirmed his presence.

CMC relieved its long serving managing director, Mr Martin Forster, of his duties in March this year over what was believed to be a slowing in business.

This was closely followed by the resignation of Mr Jeremiah Kiereini as the chairman of its board.

Mr Lay’s move to CMC, analysts contend, will be challenging, as his main duty will be to turn around the fortunes of the company.

At his previous job, Mr Lay warded off competition as the type of vehicles he was selling faced little or no competition in the regional market.

This is because GM is known in the automobile market for its bus and truck brands, while on the other hand, CMC deals mainly with saloon and sports utility vehicles that are in direct competition with the price-sensitive and import-fuelled second-hand market.

Of late, however, it has received a lucrative tender to supply the government of Kenya with Volkswagen Passat cars.

The company has been in operation locally for about 60 years, steadily growing in size and influence to become a force to reckon with in the market.

The firm has since 2008 seen its market share and profits dwindle amid competition from, among others, used car dealers in town.

When he quit his former stable along Mombasa road, Mr Lay had indicated he was retiring, although the grapevine was rife on his move to CMC.

He (Mr Lay) decided to ‘retire’ after 36 years with General Motors, the statement from his former employer noted then.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>