Mazda Motor Europe's president Stephen Odell has been appointed senior managing executive officer in charge of marketing, sales and customer service and will move to Japan from 1 May to replace David Thomas, who is returning to Ford Motor Company.

Odell has served as president, Mazda Motor Europe, and executive officer, Mazda Motor Corporation, since January 2002. Replacing him is Dan Morris, currently vice president sales at MME.

"Under his leadership MME delivered great results in a down market. Mazda's strong resurgence in Europe is due in great part to his leadership, and I have no doubt that the processes he and his management team put into place will continue this success," said Mazda Motor Corporation president and CEO Lewis Booth.

Morris has played a leading role in the sales growth at MME since he joined the company in July 2001, and has contributed to Mazda's resurgence in Europe (11% growth in 2002, 31% growth in sales in the first quarter 2003). He previously held a number of senior roles at Ford.