Skoda UK marketing chief to take up VW Asia Pacific post

Skoda UK marketing chief Chris Hawken has been appointed as head of marketing for Volkswagen in the Asia Pacific region.

Hawken, who leaves VW-owned Skoda at the end of July, will be based in Singapore. He will report to Volkswagen director Norbert Preine.

Hawken will oversee Volkswagen’s marketing for the Asia Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand. He will also oversee VW’s Seat brand, which is launching in the region for the first time.

Hawken’s departure from Skoda was heralded at the end of last year, when he applied for an internal transfer in order to move abroad. He will be replaced by Mary Newcombe, who has been working with him since November (MW November 15, 2001). Newcombe moved from VW, where she was product marketing manager.

Hawken, who is well regarded in both the car and marketing industries, has been at Skoda since 1998.

Skoda swept the board at the Marketing Week/CIM Effectiveness Awards two years ago, with Hawken receiving the marketer of the year award.

It was Hawken who moved Skoda UK’s European aligned business out of Grey and into Fallon in 1999, although he faced resistance from Skoda’s head office. He was subsequently credited with overseeing one of the best car ad campaigns for many years.

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