BMW of North America Announces Corporate Leadership Changes

BMW of North America has announced the following changes within its Corporate Communications team, effective June 1, 2024.

Thomas Plucinsky, currently Head of BMW Group Product Communication, will transition to the newly formed position as Head, BMW Group Classic USA. In his new role, Tom will oversee all BMW Group Classic division activities in the USA and Canada. Working closely with the BMW Group Classic in Munich, Tom will be responsible for communications of the BMW Group brands from a historical context. He will work with the various official clubs (car and motorcycle) and individual collectors to strengthen the BMW community in the U.S. and Canada. He will be responsible for growing the classic parts business in North America and will manage the BMW USA Classic Collection fleet of historically significant vehicles, artifacts, and archives. As part of his portfolio of topics, Tom will continue to be responsible for the communications of BMW M Motorsport activities in North America. With 35 years of experience at BMW in a variety of functions, in two subsidiaries, Tom has a deep knowledge of the company and its products plus a genuine passion for the history while also understanding the transformational forces that are currently reshaping the company.

Mariella Kapsaskis, currently Head of BMW NA Corporate Communications, will add oversight of BMW Group product communications to her role, and assume the new title of Department Manager, Corporate and Product Communications. In this new position, Mariella will take on full responsibility for all U.S. corporate, product, and technology communications topics, and management of the U.S. team, with the goal of shaping, promoting, and protecting the reputation of the company, its products, brands, and business in the market both externally and internally.

Mariella’s eighteen years of communications experience spans a variety of sectors from technology to fashion, luxury and automotive both on the agency side and in-house, working on the corporate communications teams both at Lands’ End and later Mercedes-Benz USA.  She came to BMW of North America in 2015 to head up corporate and product communications for MINI USA and has taken on various leadership roles in the department since then.

Both Tom and Mariella will report directly to Manfred Grunert. 

As part of this new structure, Phil DiIanni will take on an expanded role in the department. In addition to his current responsibilities as the U.S. corporate communications and external media relations lead for business, sales, marketing, and culture topics, Phil will now also have responsibility and oversight for technology, innovation, and sustainability communications and initiatives.

Alex Schmuck, currently Manager, BMW Product & Technology Communications and BMW Performance Center Communications also expands his area of responsibility to include oversight of MINI and BMW Motorrad communications in the U.S.  He will assume the new title of Manager, BMW Group Product Communications, U.S.

Kathryn Vallis adds digital communications to her current responsibilities for internal and executive communications and assumes the new title of Sr. Specialist Executive, Internal and Digital Communications. Kathryn is currently responsible for the planning and execution of all employee communications, internal events and initiatives, across the BMW Group business units in the U.S. She will now also have oversight and responsibility for the digital communications tools for the department including press websites, media analytics, and the corporate communications social channels.

Esther Mansfield adds strategy, planning, and steering to her current scope and assumes the new title of Sr. Specialist BMW Group Corporate Communications Events. In this position, Esther will continue to oversee all BMW Group media activations in the U.S. while expanding her responsibilities to lead the alignment between BMW Group communication strategies and goals with existing and new communication event platforms.

Phil, Alex, Kathryn, and Esther will report directly to Mariella Kapsaskis.

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Written by the BMW Group.