The first big departure follows Malaysian automaker Proton’s hookup with China’s Geely.

Faisal Albar, managing director-DRB-Hicom, confirms the anticipated departure of Proton Holdings CEO Ahmad Fuaad Kenali, effective Sept. 30.

During Fuaad’s tenure, Proton rolled out four new models in a span of eight months, Faisal says in a statement.

“He also played a vital role in closing Proton’s search for a suitable foreign strategic partner…one of the key priorities of DRB-Hicom at the point of our acquisition of Proton Holdings in 2012.”

Fuaad was named CEO of Proton Holdings on April 1, 2016, after becoming chief operating officer/senior group director of DRB-Hicom in 2013.

“Fuaad will be assuming a big role with a related company,” says Faisal, who will remain overall chairman of Proton Holdings.

The statement says Faisal’s role is to ensure the new alliance ultimately will provide a return on investment to the shareholders, DRB-Hicom (50.1%) and Geely (49.9%).

Under the companies’ agreement, to ensure Geely adds expertise in production, manufacturing, operations and marketing the Chinese company will nominate a candidate as CEO of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional, a wholly owned subsidiary of Proton Holdings and the main production, operations, manufacturing and marketing company.

To ensure a smooth integration, Radzaif Mohamed will remain as a key officer at Proton Group and will continue in his role as deputy CEO at Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional.

Abdul Rashid Musa, named CEO of Proton Edar in February, will continue in that role at the distribution arm.

The statement says DRB-Hicom and Geely are working toward completion of the alliance and they are intensifying efforts to complete a detailed business plan for Proton Group. The plan will incorporate strategies for the companies to develop new vehicles together for the global market.