It's a sad day for BMW as it received news of the passing away of its head of marketing for BMW of North America, Jack Pitney. While on a vacation on his farm, 47-year-old Pitney got into an accident and was killed. In only a few days from now, Pitney was supposed to take on the position of vice president for BMW's eastern region, BMW's largest US sales zone.
In its statement, BMW said that it can't give further details yet. In 1985, Pitney joined BMW as its head of corporate communications. He made his mark as a member of a team of executives who convinced BMW's management team to import the Mini to North America.
He became the first US chief of the Mini brand from 2001 to 2005. Russell Stover, general manager of BMW of Nashville and Mini of Nashville, said that Pitney had been highly influential in pushing for the Mini brand to be launched in the US.
Stover said that Pitney had the right personality for the job as he was fun in spirit but also very serious about getting it done right." Stover said that during the recession, Pitney, as marketing vice president for BMW, "brought calm and stability."
When Pitney's appointment to the regional post was revealed in July, he said that he was prepared to work with BMW dealers, who had suffered due to the factory's cuts in margin and other payments. At some point, Pitney was heralded by many to someday be the head of BMW of North America.
In an interview with Automotive News last July, he was asked if he was being trained for the CEO job. Pitney would only say that everyone is being groomed for anything. It can be recalled that before he joined BMW, Pitney was manager of corporate communications for Mazda Motor of America.