Mazda North American Operations has promoted Stephen Odell to the new post of executive vice president and chief operating officer, and American Isuzu Motors has named Duke Hale, a former Mazda parts and service executive, senior vice president and chief operating officer of its sport-utility division.
Hale, who also has held executive sales and parts posts at Volvo Cars of North America, Chrysler Corp. and Ford Motor Co., will be responsible for sales, marketing, customer service and dealer development at Cerritos-based American Isuzu, distributor of Isuzu sport-utility vehicles, diesel engines and commercial trucks. His initial task will be to direct the launch of Isuzu's new Axiom SUV.
Odell joined Mazda's Irvine-based North American headquarters in January as vice president of marketing and sales. Previously, he was head of sales for Jaguar North America. He is credited with boosting Mazda's brand awareness in the United States through the company's new "Zoom-Zoom" advertising campaign. In his new post, Odell will oversee sales, marketing, customer service and parts operations.
In related personnel moves, Odell selected Fred Ehlers Jr. to fill his old post as vice president of sales and appointed Gordon Dickie vice president of customer service and parts, replacing Hale.
Ehlers, previously Mazda North American's sales director, will be responsible for planning, dealer development and vehicle distribution. Before joining Mazda in 1991, he worked for both Chrysler Corp. and Ford Motor Co. in various field positions.
Dickie previously was Mazda North America's vice president of research and development. He led the restructuring of the company's Engineering, Manufacturing and Supply Division in Flat Rock, Mich., merging it into the Irvine-based research and development unit.