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BMW Group Announces Changes in Management Team

The following changes in the BMW Group senior management team in the Americas will become effective June 1.
May 16, 2014

WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ - Motor Sports Newswire

Ludwig Willisch, Chairman and CEO, BMW Group Region Americas, has announced the departure of Eduardo Villaverde, President and CEO, BMW Group Canada, after many years of service to the company. Villaverde became head of the BMW Group Canadian subsidiary on September 1, 2011. Previously, he was CEO of BMW Spain and has served the company in many different roles since joining BMW Group in 1995.

Succeeding Villaverde is Hans Blesse who will assume the role of President and CEO, BMW Group Canada, based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, with a transition that begins today, May 13. Since April 2012, Blesse has been the Vice President of BMW Motorrad USA. He began his career with BMW in 1987 at what was then the newly founded BMW Canada sales subsidiary. In the 27 years since then, Blesse has achieved success in sales, marketing, aftersales and training with the BMW Group around the world, including Canada, Spain, Germany and the United States.

Kris Odwarka succeeds Hans Blesse as Vice President, BMW Motorrad USA, based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey effective today, May 13. Odwarka will be responsible for BMW motorcycle sales and marketing in the United States. Currently, Odwarka is Regional Aftersales Manager, Southern Region, a position he has held since February 2013. Odwarka joined the BMW Group in 1992 as a Sales Trainer for BMW of North America. He served in various field and regional sales, marketing and aftersales positions before moving to Munich in 2000 in Corporate Sales for BMW Group. Odwarka later spent 8 years as the Sales Director for Alpina, based in Munich, before returning to the U.S. in 2010 as President of Husqvarna Motorcycles based in Corona, California, which was, at the time, a BMW Group subsidiary.

“I want to thank Eduardo for his years of service to BMW Group and we all wish him well in his new endeavors,” said Ludwig Willisch. “For Hans Blesse, his new role in Canada will be a homecoming of sorts and I know he will do well in our very important Canadian market. Kris Odwarka has a great passion for motorcycles and he is excited about leading BMW Motorrad and we are expecting great results.”

Contacts at BMW Group:

Kenn Sparks
Business Communications Manager
BMW of North America, LLC
(201) 307-4467 / Kenn.Sparks@bmwna.com


Frank Strebe
Director, Corporate Communications
BMW Group Canada
(905) 428-5005 / Frank.Strebe@bmwgroup.ca

Roy Oliemuller
BMW Motorrad USA Communications Manager
BMW of North America, LLC
(201) 307-4082 / Roy.Oliemuller@bmwna.com

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

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