Harald Hamprecht (44) has been appointed Vice President Communications and member of the Executive Committee of Opel Automobile GmbH as of January 1, 2019. He will be responsible for the entire external and internal communication of the brands Opel and Vauxhall and follows Johan Willems (58), who is retiring after 36 years in the automotive industry. Michael Göntgens (37) succeeds Hamprecht as Director Internal and Corporate Communications.
“Johan Willems did a great job. He deserves a big thank-you. I asked to have him by my side when I started as the CEO of Opel and he mastered his tasks excellently. On behalf of the entire management I wish him all the best,” said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller. “And I am very pleased to be working even more closely with Harald Hamprecht than in the past six years.”
“I can look back on a fulfilling career,” said Johan Willems. “I am grateful that I was able to work as a journalist and then as a communicator on all continents with and for inspiring people. My team deserves the greatest praise. I’m looking forward to stronger dedicating myself to my family and new private projects soon.”
Johan Willems started his career in the automotive industry as a journalist for a Belgian newspaper for which he worked for ten years. In 1992, he began his 26-year career with Opel/GM in the PR department of Opel Belgium in Antwerp. After a first station at Opel in Germany and then at GM Europe in Zurich, he led the product and brand communication of Opel/Vauxhall and GM Europe in Rüsselsheim from February 2005 to November 2007. An appointment to Group Headquarters in Detroit followed, where Willems served as Communications Director with global responsibility for environmental issues and future powertrains. He then moved to GM International Operations, based in Shanghai, China, where he served as Vice President Communications. He has been Vice President Communications at Opel in Rüsselsheim since February 2012.
Before joining Opel in May 2012, Hamprecht worked as a journalist for eleven years – most recently as Editor-in-Chief of the trade journal Automotive News Europe, chief reporter of auto motor und sport and as editorial director of the four motor portals of MotorPresse Stuttgart. Previously, the business administration graduate worked as a reporter for the trade journal Automobilwoche and as an editor for the investor magazine TeleBörse of the Handelsblatt publishing group. Hamprecht started his career in the automotive industry in September 1993 – with an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk at Opel.
Michael Göntgens has been in charge of corporate communications at Opel since October 2016. The trained aviation tradesman, graduate in business administration and master of science in corporate communications, previously served in various functions for the Lufthansa Group since 2004 – most recently for two years as Director Communications of Lufthansa Cargo. Among other things, he was Press Spokesman for Finance and Economic Affairs at Lufthansa AG and from 2010 to 2014 Team Leader Press and Internal Communications at Lufthansa Cargo.