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José Muñoz COO at Hyundai.
Muñoz is close to completing three years in office. Photo: @Basilisto.

This is José Muñoz, COO at Hyundai and Huntsman’s new Board Member

The Spanish engineer reached this important position after the Korean automobile firm appointed him in 2019.

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José Muñoz is about to complete three years as President and CEO of Hyundai Motor North America and Hyundai Motor America, where he also holds the position of Global Chief Operating Officer of Hyundai Motor Company, being responsible for the global operation strategies of the Korean company and its successful implementation.

During his tenure, Hyundai's overall performance and profitability have been strengthened by his focus on driving strong growth, building on the overall enhancement of the brand, based on decades of experience in automotive technology.

Headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, Hyundai also delegated responsibility for the market in Central and South America to Muñoz, thus managing to integrate the different regions in an important commercial strategy that seeks to consolidate this firm in the continent.

At the time, Muñoz pointed out: “I am excited to join Hyundai Motor at this vital time in its history. My capabilities around delivering steady profitable growth, managing the entire supply chain, and working together with our dealer partners to find win-win solutions match up well with the opportunity here. I am eager to bring best global practices from the automobile and technology industries to my new role as COO of Hyundai Motor Company and am honored to join this esteemed corporation.”

For his part, Wonhee Lee, President of Hyundai Motor Company said:

José Muñoz has an impressive track record and is proven to be a visionary and motivational leader who is adept at all aspects of our business. His decades of automotive and technology experience make him well suited for this new role as we move the company to the next step. We are looking forward to Mr. Muñoz joining the team, and will lean on his leadership skills and vision to achieve long-term sustainable growth and evolve into a Smart Mobility Solutions Provider.

Munoz currently oversees more than 120,000 employees and operations worldwide, as well as being responsible for the company's overall results, including total revenues of nearly $88 billion in 2020.

Hyundai car.

His LinkedIn profile highlights how Muñoz, a native of Spain, earned his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and has an MBA from the Instituto de Empresa (IE) Business School in Madrid. He has also completed executive management programs at the Cranfield School of Management in the UK, and the INSEAD Business School in France.

Before his arrival at the position he currently holds at Hyundai, Muñoz served as Director of Performance at Nissan Motor Corporation, a firm where he worked for 15 years, achieving significant growth and leading with record sales in the regions he supervised.

New Role with Huntsman

At the beginning of 2022, Huntsman Corporation, a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of specialty and differentiated chemicals with 2020 revenues of approximately $6 billion, announced José Muñoz as one of its new Board of Directors members.

“As part of our Board's ongoing refreshment process, I am pleased that we have identified two outstanding independent directors in Curt and José, who both bring extensive experience in operating companies in or relevant to our industry and in executing on strategic growth plans,” said Peter R. Huntsman, Chairman, President and CEO.

According to a post on their website, “these appointments ensure the Board continues to have the right combination of experience, expertise and diversity to drive profitable growth for shareholders and to best oversee the Company's strategic initiatives.”

Muñoz's Career Highlights

  • 2018 - 2019: Chief Performance Officer and Chairman China, Nissan.
  • 2016 - 2018: Chief Performance Officer and Chairman North America, Nissan.
  • 2014 - 2016: EVP, Chairman of Management Committee, North America, Nissan.
  • 2004 - 2014: General Manager Nissan Europe, Managing Director Nissan Motor Iberia, President Nissan Mexico, Nissan.
  • 1999 - 2004: After Saes and Dealer Network Development Management roles, Toyota Motor Marketing Europe.
  • 1996 - 1999: Network Development Director, Daewoo Motor Iberia.
  • 1989 - 1996: Dealer, Citroën.
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