Mazda Realigns Management at Office in Irvine : Combines Operations, Sales, Marketing Groups

Times Staff Writer

Mazda Motor of America said Wednesday that it has realigned management at the company's corporate headquarters in Irvine.

The restructuring is intended to make the company more responsive to Mazda dealers and customers by streamlining operations, said spokesman Al Goldberg. "It's management fine-tuning," he said.

The realignment follows a major reorganization at Mazda 14 months ago, when the company centralized its U.S. sales operations in Irvine. At the time, Irvine was the regional office for 31 Central and Western states, with other regional importing and sales offices in Jacksonville, Fla., and Honolulu.

In last year's restructuring, the three offices were consolidated into one in Irvine, called Mazda Motor of America Inc., which is responsible for importing, marketing and selling Mazdas in the United States through its 844 dealers. After that consolidation, Mazda Motor of America still had separate groups for operations and for sales and marketing.

The changes announced this week are "the next step," basically eliminating those two groups, Goldberg said. In their place is a new operations group, which includes most of the functions of the former two groups.

The new structure "will make it easier to communicate with dealers primarily," Goldberg said. "Now everything is under one responsibility--rather than two separate groups with different management."

George McCabe, formerly group vice president-sales and marketing, has been named group vice president-operations. His responsibilities include the company's five regional offices, sales operations, dealer development and advertising. That gives McCabe responsibility for more than half of Mazda's 1,152 employees in the Irvine headquarters.

McCabe joined Mazda in 1974 as a district sales manager in the New York area. He progressed steadily through the company's ranks and was named vice president-operations for Mazda Motor of America in 1986. Before joining Mazda, he was with the Chrysler Corp.

In other changes announced Wednesday, James Wiesner, formerly senior vice president-Eastern area operations, becomes assistant group vice president-sales, reporting to McCabe. Wiesner's responsibilities include sales planning, sales promotion and dealer development.

Janet Thompson, vice president of advertising, will also report to McCabe, as will the managers of Mazda's five regional offices in the United States.

New regional managers have been named to head Mazda's Pacific, Northeast and Southeast regions.

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