BMW Group Announces Changes in Management Team


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Woodcliff Lake, NJ – May 13, 2014….The following changes in the BMW Group senior management team in the Americas will become effective June 1.

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.”

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