Mazda has promoted European president Stephen Odell to be its global marketing chief. He replaces David Thomas, who was Mazda’s senior managing executive officer for marketing, sales and customer service.
Thomas is understood to be returning to Ford, which owns a 35 per cent controlling stake in Mazda. A spokesman for Ford was unable to confirm what Thomas’ new role was, but it is thought he is going to remain in the Far East rather than returning to Europe.
As vice-president of Mazda Motor Europe since the beginning of 2002, Odell oversaw a reversal of sales decline and the consolidation of Mazda’s policy of owning distributors with a view to implementing pan-European marketing.
Previously Odell was vice-president for marketing and sales for Mazda’s North American operations, and was involved in the “Zoom, zoom, zoom” campaign which was then rolled out worldwide. Before that, he oversaw the introduction of the S-type Jaguar in North America.
British-born Thomas moved to Mazda in 2000 after a series of senior marketing positions at Ford, where he was involved in the “Everything we do is driven by you” campaign.