VIENNA – Chris Gubbey, former president and managing director for General Motors Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States, has been moved from Moscow to a new position at the Adam Opel GmbH headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany.

Gubbey is Opel’s new head of commercial vehicles and international operations effective May 1. In this position, he will be responsible for the Opel/Vauxhall light-commercial vehicles activities in Europe, as well as sales of all Opel vehicles outside of Europe.

Opel, which sells the majority of its vehicles in Europe, is trying to increase exports to non-European markets.

Gubbey, who will report directly to Opel CEO Nick Reilly, has overseen GM’s operations in Russia and the CIS since February 2008. In Russia, Chevrolet is the No.2 brand behind the domestic Lada, which plays in a different price segment.

Prior to joining GM in Russia, Gubbey served as GM Holden Ltd. chairman and managing director in Australia. Before that, he was executive vice president of Shanghai General Motors Automotive Co. Ltd.

At Opel, Gubbey replaces Chris Lacey, who has retired.

Replacing Gubbey in Russia is Jim Bovenzi, who served as vice president-global purchasing and supply chain at the Shanghai-based GM International Operations.

Earlier this year, General Motors Co. transferred responsibility for all its activities in Russia and other CIS states to GMIO. An Opel spokesman says the decision was made in order to consolidate the region’s sales and production operations under one roof.