Mazda Appoints New CMO for North American Operations

Brad Audet has been serving as interim CMO since March

Audet spent 7 years as executive vice president of Garage Team Mazda, WPP's integrated marketing agency for the automaker. Mazda
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Mazda North American Operations said today it has promoted interim chief marketing officer Brad Audet to serve in the top marketer role permanently, effective today.

Before assuming the interim CMO role in March, Audet spent seven years as executive vice president of Garage Team Mazda, WPP’s integrated agency for the automaker. While at the agency’s helm, Audet led marketing transformation and served as strategic counselor to the brand’s executive team.

During his six months as interim CMO, Audet has “successfully guided our marketing operations during this time of unprecedented uncertainty and volatility,” said MNAO president Jeff Guyton in a statement. “Looking ahead, I am confident Brad will continue this trajectory, leading a seamlessly integrated marketing division that adapts quickly and intelligently to the ever-changing consumer landscape.”

As MNAO CMO, Audet will be based out of Mazda’s Irvine, Calif., headquarters and report to evp Jim Lievois. MNAO oversees sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 620 dealers. Audet will continue to work closely with the dealer network to create an engaging customer experience, the brand said.

“Brad stepped into the interim role at a challenging time for our industry as we were all figuring out how to navigate Covid-19,” said National Dealer Advisory Council chairman Jim McDonald in a statement. He added that Audet has been a “good listener to the needs of dealers and has brought fresh perspective to Mazda’s marketing approach.”

Prior to joining the automaker, Audet had already garnered more than two decades of experience in marketing. As evp of WPP’s Team Detroit, Audet worked with clients including White Castle, Bosch, United Way, Dollar General and Sports Authority. Before that, he worked with agencies including Arc Worldwide, BBDO, J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, McCann and Mullen.

Calling Mazda a “brand on the move,” Audet said in a statement that he plans to “continue building on our growth and momentum” as CMO in coordination with the Mazda team and the company’s WPP agency partners.

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@klundster Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.