Mazda names ad veteran Wager to lead U.S. marketing
Russell Wager, pictured, will replace U.S. marketing boss John Abel, whose next role will be announced soon, spokesman Eric Booth said in an e-mail.
Editor's note: Russell Wager will be replacing Mazda's U.S. marketing director John Abel. An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported who Wager would replace.
Mazda North American Operations today named longtime automotive advertising executive Russell Wager as vice president of marketing. Wager once handled Mazda's U.S. account for ad agency Doner.
Wager, 46, will replace U.S. marketing boss John Abel, whose next role will be announced soon, spokesman Eric Booth said in an e-mail.
Booth added the company has no plans -- at this time -- to fill the CMO position left vacant by the departure of Don Romano in July.
Wager had been senior vice president and managing director at DDB Advertising's Beijing office. Before that, he was at TBWA/Hakuhodo International in Tokyo. He also has led automotive accounts at several ad agencies including Nissan's agency TBWA/Chiat/Day, David & Goliath in El Segundo, Calif., and Doner Advertising of suburban Detroit, directing the account he will now lead.
Wager will oversee U.S. marketing communications, including print and electronic advertising, social media, the Mazda U.S. Web site, auto shows and the relationship with the company's marketing communications agency, The Garage Team Mazda.
He will report to Robert Davis, senior vice president of Mazda's U.S. operations group.
Through August of this year, Mazda sold 185,349 vehicles in the United States, up 12 percent from the same period last year.
Ryan Beene contributed to this report
PRESS RELEASE: MAZDA NORTH AMERICAN OPERATIONS APPOINTS RUSSELL WAGER VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING
Industry veteran to lead company's integrated marketing communications programs
IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today announced that Russell Wager has been named Vice President, Marketing, in charge of all marketing communications for the company's U.S. Operations. Wager brings with him more than 20 years of automotive industry- focused marketing communications experience.
"We're thrilled to have Russell join the Mazda team," said Jim O'Sullivan, MNAO president and CEO. "He brings a passion and knowledge to the position that will be the cornerstone of our efforts to move the Mazda business in the U.S. to the next level. In the agency team we've built over the past two years with The Garage Team Mazda, Russell will find a creative and passionate group of people here in Irvine, and we look forward to his leading our communications efforts as we drive Mazda forwards."
Wager will oversee all aspects of U.S. marketing communications, including print and electronic advertising, social media, the MazdaUSA.com website, public relations, brand experience, auto shows, sales training and aspects of retail operations, as well as manage the relationship with the company's integrated marketing communications agency, The Garage Team Mazda.
Wager joins Mazda from the Asia Pacific region where he spent the last few years at TBWA/Hakuhodo International in Tokyo, and most recently managing a large automotive account at DDB Advertising, as Senior VP and Managing Director in the agency's Beijing office. He has led major automotive accounts at a number of the top advertising and marketing agencies in the world, including TBWA\Chiat\Day, davidandgoliath, and prior to that, Doner Advertising, directing the MNAO account that he will now lead.
Wager will report to Robert Davis, MNAO's Senior Vice President, U.S. Operations.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are directed by Mazda Motor de Mexico, based in Mexico City.