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Mazda and Ford announce senior appointments

Managing director of Mazda Motor UK Ltd James Muir, has been appointed president and CEO of Mazda Motor Europe.

Muir replaces Dan Morris, who has led the company since May 2003 and is moving to corporate headquarters in Japan where (subject to shareholder approval on June 24), he will replace Stephen Odell as director and senior managing executive officer in charge of marketing, sales and customer service.

Muir (46) joined Mazda in 2001 from the Ford Motor Company and oversaw the founding of Mazda Motor UK Ltd, which doubled its sales volume during his tenure. In June 2003, he was appointed vice-president of sales at Mazda Motor Europe.

Odell will return to the Ford Motor Company after nearly five-and-a-half-years with Mazda. He has been named today as chairman-elect of Ford of Britain. He will take up the position on July 1 when he will begin to assume the responsibilities of the chairman, forming high-level contacts with the Government, trade bodies and other non-government organisations while overseeing the sales, marketing, retail operations and after sales functions of Ford of Britain.

Paul Thomas continues as managing director, responsible for all day-to-day operations.

Roger Putnam, the present chairman, has announced his intention to retire a 40-year career in the motor industry.

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