Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Key Managerial Changes Shaking Up BMW

Déjà vu all over again?

by on Jul.21, 2010

Former BMWNA Marketing Chief Jack Pitney will now take responsibility for the maker's eastern region.

A few years ago in a sweeping change in positions that surprised the auto industry, Jack Pitney, then head of the new Mini division, switched jobs with Jim McDowell, who was serving as the British marque’s vice president of marketing.

In the famous words of Yogi Berra, “It’s deja vu, all over again.”

Mini’s parent, BMW, is making two new veep switches, one financial, as Wayne Orchowski, vice president of the Eastern Region, becomes VP of operations and COO of BMW Group Financial Services. That move might not have even made the radar, but the other switch is causing some seismic tremors in the marketing world and blogs as Jack Pitney, vice president of marketing for the BMW Brand (and the acknowledged, if not titled, CMO of BMW US) will assume the role of vice president of BMW’s Eastern Region.

Subscribe Now! It's Free!

When a CMO moves from one company to another, retires or leaves the industry it’s usually not unexpected, but a move from the major staff position to a major line operation job is rare.  Except it’s Pitney’s career DNA.  How many remember when he moved from head of BMW public relations to lead the launch of Mini in the U.S. another line function. That too surprised industry pundits.

As VP – Marketing, Pitney often moved the needle with a track record of positive results — from the successful launch of several new vehicle categories, including the 1-Series, X-model sports activity vehicles, advanced diesels and whole new versions of Zs, 3s, 5s and 7-series. And if that’s not enough he was also responsible for all U.S. BMW product planning and strategy.

While many auto/ad/marketing types had sour faces about the recent “Joy” campaign, declaring it bland and boring because it seemed to diminish the “Ultimate Driving Machine” designation, it was, however, created to bring new, non-BMW-owners into the product fold. And based on the brand’s sales for the year-to-date it seemed to have reached its goal.

Pitney’s new job presents a range of responsibilities and leadership challenges as he runs all sales, marketing, after-sales and dealer development activities in the12-state Northeast Region which encompasses 93 BMW and 24 MINI dealers, and notably includes the New York metro area. With a sales volume of over 75,000 new vehicles a year, the Northeast is BMW of North America’s largest region in the U.S.

Curiously, the automaker remained mum about Pitney’s successor as head of BMW Brand Marketing in the U.S. The replacement for that job won’t be announced until as late as September 1, the automaker cautions.

Wayne Orchowski, currently Vice President, Eastern Region, BMW of North America, will assume the role of Vice President, Operations North America and Chief Operating Officer, BMW Group Financial Services Americas. In his new role, Orchowski will have overall leadership responsibility for the BMW Group Financial Services Regional Service Center in Ohio, as well as continuing to deliver operational excellence to over 1,200 dealers and 900,000 lease and loan customers across the U.S. and Canada.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Key Managerial Changes Shaking Up BMW”

  1. Mona W. Gillman says:

    I am writing about my dissatisfaction with the service I have received. I bought a new 3281, 2007 and now have 28 thousand miles on it. I bought it because of the reputation of service of the automobile, and thought it would be the last car I would buy. From the beginning there have been some problems. I took it in once because the radio was drifting and the rear passenger tire was deflating. I was told that the radios just do that, and there was nothing wrong with the tire. The same tire kept deflating, on a regular basis, and I took it in three times. I was treated in a patronizing manner and told they put it on the rack, and there was nothing wrong with it. After three years of this, I finally got a nail in that tire, and they said, because of the nail, it wasn’t covered and I had to buy another tire.
    November, 2009 the driver’s seat was leaned foward to allow for a passenger to get in the back seat, and it wouldn’t straighten up. Force had to be applied, and the seat laid back and wouldn’t go upright. I had to drive 20 miles or more with the seat lying flat. This week, my 79 year old sister was in the back seat, and when she went to get out, again the seat wouldn’t lean forward and she had to climb over the console and go out the other side. I took it back to the dealership, and this time I spoke to the sales manager, Brock Temple, who told me I was being too agressive, and I would get more from spreading the honey than the vinegar. After three years of spreading the honey, I was due for the vinegar. They kept my car overnight, and today called to say that the plastic part had been replaced and it was fixed. I pick up the car, got part way home when it occured to me that I should check it before I got home. I pulled over, and sure enough, it was still broken, fixed in the same, imovable position, and I have to leave it again. I would have thought that after a repair, it would have been checked before calling me to pick up the car. I have had three Nissan Sentras over the past 30 years, and combined didn’t have these kinds of problems.
    Is it your practice to require a customer (who wrote a check for the purchace of the car), to have to be “a nice girl, and spread honey” to get her car fixed? I have been smirked at, berated, and patted on the head, and given a loaner. I would appreciate any advice you can give me. I am seriously thinking about getting rid of the car and going back to the Sentra.