Odell, currently director and senior managing executive officer in charge of marketing, sales and customer services at Mazda Motor Corporation in Japan, will take up his new position on July 1. He has previously held marketing and sales positions in Ford in North America, Jaguar and Ford of Europe.
As chairman he will be responsible for forming high-level contacts with the government, trade bodies and other organisations, while overseeing the sales, marketing, retail operations and aftersales functions of Ford in the UK. Paul Thomas will continue as managing director, responsible for all day-to-day operations.
“Steve Odell will bring to this new role a great deal of international automotive experience, which will prove invaluable to Ford of Britain. He will make a great chairman,” says Lewis Booth, chairman and chief executive officer for Ford of Europe.
Putnam was appointed chairman of Ford of Britain in March 2002. He began his career at Lotus in 1966 and also spent time at Jaguar as director of sales and marketing where he oversaw the restructuring of both the UK and international dealer and distribution networks as well as the introduction of models such as the XJ8, the S-type and X-type.
Dan Morris, president and chief executive officer of Mazda Motor Europe will replace Odell in Japan. Morris will be succeeded by Mazda UK managing director James Muir. During his time at Mazda, Muir has strengthened the European sales network and managed the creation of four new national sales companies in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Russia.
Mazda expects to announce a new UK managing director within the next month.