Purves, 59, will succeed Ian Robertson, 49, who last month was named BMW’s head of sales and marketing to replace the departing Stefan Krause.
Purves, a native of Scotland, has led BMW’s North American sales subsidiary since 1999. He joined BMW in 1985 as sales director of the automaker’s British operation. Purves also ran Land Rover, Mini, MG and Rover before he went to the United States.
BMW later sold Land Rover and Rover.
Purves said today he will leave as chairman of BMW of North America to become CEO of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England.
The move means Jim O’Donnell, 58, who took over as BMW’s No. 2 executive in North America on April 1, will become CEO of the North American unit.
O’Donnell, also a native of Scotland and former managing director of BMW in the United Kingdom, assumed Howard Mosher’s role as BMW’s vice president of operations in North America. Mosher retired March 31 at age 61.
Homecoming for the apprenticeFor Purves, leading Rolls-Royce will be a homecoming. He spent the first 17 years of his career there. According to his company biography, his role at Rolls-Royce evolved to include several management positions in various fields, including sales in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. During that time, Purves was based in the Middle East and Switzerland, according to the biography.
Purves reaches BMW’s mandatory retirement age of 60 on Nov. 25. He said in January that he planned to retire but didn’t indicate the timing of his departure.
Rolls-Royce does not have a mandatory retirement age.
In 2006, BMW forced CEO Helmut Panke to retire despite his criticism of the company’s mandatory 60-and-out policy. Panke was replaced by Norbert Reithofer, now 51.
Changes in corporate communicationsBMW also announced changes in its North American communications operations:
Public relations veteran Tom Kowaleski has been appointed vice president of corporate communications for BMW of North America effective May 1. He will have responsibility for the overall management of the corporate communications department, BMW said.
Kowaleski has worked for both Daimler Chrysler AG and General Motors in his 30-year career. He is currently president of ACTK2, a communications consulting firm he will continue to operate, BMW said.
Tom Salkowsky has been appointed manager, BMW corporate communications in North America, effective May 1. BMW said Salkowsky will be responsible for the BMW automotive brand and is a 12-year veteran with BMW of North America.
Robert D. Mitchell, the previous head of BMW corporate communications and a 32-year veteran of BMW, will retire on April 30, 2008, the company said.
Diana T. Kurylko contributed to this report
PRESS RELEASE: BMW Announces Executive Management AppointmentsWOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- BMW announces today the following four executive management appointments.
Tom Purves has been appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited. In this capacity he is responsible for the overall global Rolls-Royce business, including production, sales and marketing. He will assume responsibilities in his new position, effective July 1, 2008. In his prior capacity, Tom served as Chairman and CEO of BMW (US) Holding Corp., a position he held since 1999. His responsibilities encompassed all sales, marketing and distribution activities for the BMW and MINI brands of the BMW Group in North, Central and South America. Prior to his arrival in the US, Tom was Sales and Marketing Director of the Rover Group and also served previously as Managing Director of BMW (UK). Tom began his automotive career with Rolls-Royce as an apprentice engineer. His role with the company evolved to include several management positions including sales in Europe the Middle East and Africa.
Jim O'Donnell will assume the position Chairman and CEO of BMW (US) Holding Corp. effective July 1, 2008. Jim recently joined BMW of North America's executive management team as President of BMW of North America, LLC (BMW NA) on April 1, 2008. In his new role, Jim will also serve as Chairman of BMW NA's Management Board and as the Regional Manager for US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Jim O'Donnell has been with the BMW Group for 17 years. Prior to arriving in the US he held the position of Managing Director of BMW (UK) Ltd. He also worked as Sales and Marketing Director of BMW South Africa and Sales Director of BMW (UK) Ltd. Before joining BMW Group, Jim held various positions at Ford Motor Company.
Tom Kowaleski has been appointed Vice President of Corporate Communications for BMW of North America, LLC effective May 1, 2008. Tom will have responsibility for the overall management of the Corporate Communications department. Tom Kowaleski has worked in the automotive communications and marketing fields for over 30 years and has broad experience with both domestic and imported manufacturers, including Daimler Chrysler and GM. He is currently the President of ACTK2, a communications consultancy which will continue to operate.
Tom Salkowsky has been appointed as Manager, BMW Corporate Communications for BMW of North America, LLC, effective May 1, 2008. Tom will be specifically responsible for the BMW automotive brand and is a 12-year veteran with BMW of North America. Previous to this appointment, Tom served as Manager, Experiential Marketing with overall responsibilities for auto shows, consumer driving events, the BMW Golf Championship and Formula BMW Americas. Tom joined the company in 1996 as a Management Associate and during his career at BMW has held a number of positions including M Brand and Motorsport Manager, Retail Operations Training Manager and Senior Retail Analyst.
Robert D. Mitchell, the previous head of BMW Corporate Communications and a 32-year veteran of BMW, will retire on April 30, 2008.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 models and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and the upcoming X6 Sport Activity Coupe. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 335 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 142 BMW motorcycle retailers, 82 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
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