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Kawasaki makes changes in marketing personnel

April 15, 2004
Filed under Features

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., has made several personnel changes that it says will strengthen its management team by developing greater cross-functional expertise within the company’s marketing group.
“The company is actively involved in the long-term process of broadening and adding depth to the already strong capabilities of our marketing team,” said Tom Orbe, vice president, marketing, “and shifting responsibilities of key individuals within our existing system brings a new and promising approach to our product development and outreach efforts.”
Patrick Kelly has been promoted from product manager to director, product management, and will oversee development in all product categories. He is replacing John Hoover, who last month announced his retirement after a 20-year career with Kawasaki. Kelly has been with KMC since 1989, serving as a technical instructor and instructional designer before moving to the product management group in 1996.
He has since been involved with the development and introduction of numerous models, and was specifically responsible for Jet Ski personal watercraft, and most recently the cruising and touring motorcycle product lines. Prior to joining Kawasaki, Kelly was a single line Kawasaki dealer.
While Kelly’s promotion was announced internally at the end of the year, the other management changes became effective Jan. 12.
Vince Iorio assumes responsibility as U.S. product manager, ATV and utility vehicle model lines following a brief assignment as national marketing manager.
Iorio, who has held management positions at Kawasaki for nine years, is credited with helping revive and grow the company’s ATV and UV business. He has also held positions as media/public relations manager and national retail marketing manager.
Assuming the duties of national marketing manager is Chris Brull, who is making the move to Kawasaki from Foote Cone & Belding Worldwide, Kawasaki’s national advertising agency. Brull has worked on the Kawasaki account for six years, most recently as the management supervisor.
He has been actively involved in many aspects of the national brand marketing and advertising communications programs for all of Kawasaki’s consumer product categories.
Jim Williams, another veteran Kawasaki marketing staffer, will step into the position of national retail marketing manager. He has spent the past seven years in the product management group, with specific responsibility for the growth in Kawasaki’s ATV and UV categories.
Rodger Howe remains director of communications.
KMC markets and sells its powersports product lines through a network of more than 1,500 independent dealers. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 2,400 people in the U.S.

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