Big news from MINIUSA. They have promoted two of the most well respected MINI veterans Pat McKenna and Tom Salkowsky. Congrats to both – can’t wait to see what’s next.
Official release: MINI USA today announced senior management changes within the organization. Tom Salkowsky will become Department Head of Sales for MINI USA. In this role, he will lead the company’s sales, volume planning and distribution operations in the United States. Salkowsky succeeds Mark Orlando who is transitioning into a new role within the BMW Group, which will be announced at a later date.
Patrick McKenna will become Department Head, MINI Brand Communications for MINI USA. In this role, McKenna is responsible for leading the MINI brand positioning, developing long term strategies and executing all consumer communications and content. McKenna will also maintain his current position on an interim basis as Department Head of Product Planning & Aftersales until his successor is announced.
Both Salkowsky and McKenna will be reporting directly to Thomas Felbermair, Vice President, MINI Region Americas. Their appointments take effect immediately.
“We’re happy to welcome Tom back to the U.S., and are confident that his global perspective combined with his marketing expertise will be instrumental in supporting our sales network and further strengthening the MINI USA brand,” said Thomas Felbermair, Vice President, MINI Region Americas. “We’re also incredibly thankful to Mark for his leadership and dedication these past years and wish him well in his new role within the company.”
A 21-year employee of the BMW Group, Salkowsky has extensive experience in various leadership positions within the organization including almost seven years as part of the MINI family. His most recent post was an international assignment where Salkowsky served as the Department Head of Marketing Steering for MINI at BMW Group Headquarters in Munich, Germany since November 2014. Before that, Salkowsky served as the Department Head, MINI Brand Communications where he led all aspects of brand marketing for the U.S. from 2010 until he was recruited to join the MINI global marketing team.
Salkowsky began his career in the automotive industry selling cars at Prestige BMW in Ramsey, New Jersey. He then joined BMW of North America in 1996 within the Management Associate Program. One year later he became Retail Operations Training Manager until 2000 when he took over as the M Brand and Motorsport Manager. In 2003, Salkowsky was promoted to a Department Head position responsible for BMW Experiential Marketing. Five years later, he transitioned to the media relations side as the Department Head for BMW Corporate Communications before coming to the MINI team.
“When it comes to marketing, Patrick is the right person to lead the MINI USA team as we move forward during this exciting time,” continued Felbermair. “His background in marketing communication and events on both the agency side and with BMW, coupled with his MINI product knowledge provide a solid foundation to help lead the brand on a fresh approach that remains grounded in our heritage.”
McKenna’s roots with the BMW Group date back to 1993 when he joined DeWitt Media on the same day the agency was named “Agency of Record” for BMW of North America. In 1997, McKenna accepted an in-house position and became the Media Communications Manager for BMW of North America. In 2002, he became the head of Marketing Communications and Consumer Events for BMW of North America, overseeing all marketing communications, advertising, branded communications, events and CRM for BMW in the U.S. In his most recent role as Department Head for Product Planning & Aftersales, a position he held since December 2010, McKenna was responsible for determining the optimal retail volume, pricing, model mix, engine mix, and alternative fuel variants for present and future MINI models in the United States.