In a move which will shock the industry, Mike Moran, the commercial director of Toyota is leaving the car company to join Thames Water as worldwide marketing and strategy director.
“Larger than life” Moran, who is well-known in both advertising and marketing circles, and a senior figure in the car industry, leaves Toyota at the end of this week. He will be replaced by Toyota’s marketing director Paul Philpott.
Moran says he wants to gain experience in a different sector, adding: “I have ambitions. I want to be running a FTSE-100 company in five or six years’ time, and this way I get to be closely involved at the centre of a company and its future acquisitions.”
Moran, who has only worked in the motoring industry, joined Toyota from Ford in 1996. Since he started at Toyota, the car company’s UK advertising media spend has more than doubled from £14m to over £37m.
Not shy of publicity, Moran has appeared in trade ads for both the Newspaper Society and the Radio Advertising Bureau, and sits on the Government’s Advisory Committee on Advertising.
Thames Water was acquired by German company RWE in 2000. Moran will oversee marketing for all of the company’s water divisions in its four regions, which include the UK and Ireland, and the US.