Seven Marketing Execs Have Left Since 2004

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DETROIT ( -- In the continuing exodus at Mitsubishi North America, Dave Schembri, exec VP-sales and marketing at troubled Mitsubishi Motors North America, resigned last week along with Wayne Killen, VP-marketing.

No successors named
A spokeswoman said no successors were named and that president-CEO Hiroshi Harunari will now direct those operations.

Mr. Harunari, who was managing director-overseas operations, assumed his new duties here Jan. 1. The move was an indication that Mitsubishi’s Japanese headquarters would take a stronger hand in U.S. marketing. Mitsubishi’s North American president-CEO Rich Gilligan now shares his post with Mr. Harunari.

Schembri brought ‘Japanese Cool’
Mr. Schembri joined Mitsubishi a year ago from Mercedes-Benz USA, where he had been VP of its Smart USA unit. He arrived at the tail end of an agency review, just as Mitsubishi was starting negotiations with Omnicom Group’s BBDO, Los Angeles, for national and regional creative accounts. Under Mr. Schembri, the brand changed its ad theme to something he called “Japanese Cool.”

Mr. Killen returned to Mitsubishi last September after a decade at Mercedes-Benz, where his last post was Maybach brand manager.

Last May, Kevin Mayer resigned as Mitsubishi’s advertising director, becoming the fifth marketing executive to leave since Ian Beavis resigned in December 2004 as senior VP-marketing, product development and public relations.

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