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Mazda appoints Karla Leach as PR boss

New gig: Karla Leach is Mazda’s new PR senior manager, two months after departing Fiat Chrysler Australia.

Former Fiat Chrysler director lands public relations role at Mazda Australia

17 Dec 2014

MAZDA Australia has appointed former Fiat Chrysler Australia (FCA) director Karla Leach as its senior manager public relations, replacing Steve Maciver who is shifting to a new role within Mazda as senior manager of digital and loyalty.

She will join the company in the New Year on a 12-month contract, heading up a new-look PR department that also will include Luke Huysmans, a six-year veteran of Mazda where he has worked on social media and corporate videos.

Ms Leach quit as FCA corporate affairs director in October, just days before FCA president and CEO Veronica Johns also pulled the pin for personal reasons.

In her three years with FCA, after joining from Telstra where she was communications executive manager, Ms Leach helped shape the success of FCA’s emerging brands, Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Alfa Romeo and Fiat, under a single corporate umbrella.

Initially, Ms Leach was FCA senior manager of retail marketing and dealer activation under former president Clyde Campbell before being elevated to director status with corporate affairs responsibility in February 2013.

Mazda cast a wide net for a replacement for Mr Maciver, taking several months to sift through a large field of candidates before appointing Ms Leach.

Apart from Luke Huysmans, Ms Leach’s PR staff at Mazda will include current PR specialist Tony Mee.

PR co-ordinator Kirsten Smart shifts to the marketing team as the company’s communications and sponsorship specialist.

Mazda – Australia’s leading full-line vehicle importer – is shaping up for a big year of new-car launches, with the arrival in 2015 of the all-new CX3 SUV, MX-5 sportscar and facelifted Maxda6 and CX-5.

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