NASCAR names Innovation and Racing Development VP NASCAR announced today that Eugene (Gene) Stefanyshyn has been named Vice President, Innovation and Racing Development to drive continual improvements in racing performance. He will be based at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.
In this role, Stefanyshyn will lead and shape NASCAR’s future approach to Competition by utilizing and developing innovations that advance the racing product and fan experience. Additionally, he will work in close collaboration with other NASCAR departments and industry stakeholders to develop a leading edge culture for NASCAR surrounding engineering and technology.
Stefanyshyn, a native of Ontario, Canada, will join NASCAR on May 13, 2013. His hiring concludes a thorough four-month search that was led by Courland International. He will report directly to NASCAR President Mike Helton and will work closely with Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell and Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton.
Stefanyshyn has been a leader at General Motors working in various capacities for more than 30 years, most recently serving as the company’s Executive Director, Global Product Development Quality, where he managed upwards of 250 employees across four global regions. Through his three-decade tenure at GM, Stefanyshyn has held increasingly senior roles spanning all facets of vehicle design and development, global project management, engineering strategy, finance, manufacturing and quality control. During his career he has lived in Detroit, Michigan, Canada, Australia, Sweden and Germany, and has played key roles on projects for GM in several other global regions including China.
Overall, Stefanyshyn led teams that put 14 cars and 20 body styles on the road. Several accomplishments under his oversight include the development and launch of the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro in 2010, the introduction of remote start technology in new vehicles beginning with the Chevrolet Malibu, and bringing acclaimed safety standards and innovation developed by Saab to other product lines. He has built extensive experience in operational management, cross-continent collaboration, managing investment in innovation and technology as well as cost containment in design and production.
“We are very pleased to have a globally proven leader the caliber of Gene Stefanyshyn join our management team and take the reins of innovation and racing development at NASCAR,” said NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France. “It has been a stated goal to raise the level of science and technology utilized throughout NASCAR to an entirely new level, and I’m confident that we have found the right leader in Gene to build on our very strong foundation. NASCAR’s aim is to be a recognized leader when it comes to putting the best, most engaging product forward and this is another strong step in that direction.”
NASCAR recently has rolled out successful product innovations including the new Generation 6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car, the Air Titan track drying system, numerous driver safety innovations and seamless transitions to electronic fuel injection and Sunoco E15 racing fuel. Stefanyshyn will assume leadership of the teams that drove those initiatives and build on them in the areas of racing performance, innovation and event experience, as well as safety engineering.
“I have a strong passion for cars and respect the proud history of this great sport, so I’m thrilled at the opportunity of helping shape the future of NASCAR racing,” said Stefanyshyn. “I look forward to working with the team at NASCAR, each of the OEM partners, the race teams and drivers to raise performance levels across the board and to drive the sport to an even stronger leadership position in the future.”
Stefanyshyn (rhymes with “definition”) holds a B.S., Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. He and his wife, Angela, are the parents of two children, Ivanna (21) and Mark (17).
Positions Held at GM:
· 2011-2012 – Executive Director, Global Product Development Quality (Detroit)
· 2010-2011 – Executive Director, Global Program Management (Detroit)
· 2006-2010 – Global Vehicle Line Executive, Global RWD Vehicles (Holden / Australia)
· 2005-2006 – Global Vehicle Line Executive, Global RWD Vehicles (Detroit)
· 1996-2005 – Vehicle Line Executive, Midsized Vehicles (Detroit)
· 1993-1996 – Director, GMIO Engineering Strategy and Integration (Germany)
· 1990-1993 – CFO, SAAB Technical Center (Sweden)
· 1988-1990 – Finance Manager, Product Programs (Detroit)
· 1986-1988 – Manager, Business Planning and Competitive Analysis (Canada)
· 1985-1986 – General Supervisor (Canada)
· 1984-1985 – Financial Analyst (Canada)
· 1981-1984 – Financial Analyst (Canada)