Runnacles joins Rover exodus…

The Rover Group’s marketing director Martin Runnacles is understood to be leaving as part of an continuing shake-up at the beleaguered motoring giant.

His impending departure follows the recent transfer of Tom Purves – Rover’s board level sales and marketing director and Runnacles’ boss – to the US.

In his place, Rover’s owner, BMW, has imported senior German marketer Dieter Laxy to oversee marketing in the UK for the combined Rover and BMW brands.

Sources suggest Runnacles is likely to join a marketing services company, after becoming disillusioned with Rover’s failure to return to profit.

Runnacles has overseen the marketing of all the Rover brands in the UK, most recently working above John Sanders, marketing director for Rover, Mini and MG, and Jim Campbell, marketing director for LandRover.

He followed Purves to Rover in 1996 from BMW, where he had a successful career first as UK marketing manager for BMW and later as marketing director. In 1994 he won the Grand Prix prize at the IPA Advertising Effectiveness Awards together with agency WCRS for work on the luxury car marque. He has also worked at J Walter Thompson, Beecham and Volvo.

Rover refuses to comment.

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