Trio depart Mazda in UK restructure

Three marketing managers have quit Mazda Cars UK as the company restructures following the departure of marketing director Jan Smith (MW April 28).

The resignations came as the company formally decided to replace Smith. Managing director David Heslop has handled all marketing since Smith’s departure but has now appointed a headhunter to find a replacement.

Smith’s tenure at Mazda was a controversial period characterised by stories of dealer unrest and poor sales as the Japanese company struggled with currency difficulties. It holds a 0.8 per cent share of the UK market.

Dealer marketing manager Tim Osler, marketing man ager Rupert Hart and market research and planning manager Mick Lee all worked for Smith.

Osler quit to join agency Claydon Healey and Lee joins The Ultimate Perspective. Hart will run his own business.

Many of their responsibilities have been incorporated into a centralised unit run by Heslop and sales director Paul Willis.

“When Jan left and I took over marketing I put a lot of pressure on the department,” says Heslop.

“This has nothing to do with me firing people, it is a genuine reorganisation. They all left for different reasons and I chose not to get involved with those decisions, ” he adds.

Mazda will hold a major dealer meeting in October to discuss strategy.