Volkswagen of America, Inc. has nabbed top Mitsubishi Motors marketing executive Kimberley Gardiner.
Gardiner, who has more than 21 years of automotive experience including leadership roles at Kia and Toyota, joins the company Nov. 16.
With the title of senior vice president, VW marketing, she will be tasked with developing and driving marketing as VW adds to its growing lineup of vehicles, building on the momentum generated by the introduction of Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV, the ID. 4.
She replaces Saad Chehab, who left the company in May after nine months, and will report to Duncan Movassaghi, executive vice president, sales and marketing for the VW brand in the U.S.
Most recently chief marketing officer for Mitsubishi Motors North America, Gardiner was previously at Kia Motors America, where she directed marketing efforts for the brand. She also served as CMO and vice president of operations for 5th Kind, a global digital asset management company.
VW’s lead brand agency is Johannes Leonardo, which it hired in February 2019 after a competitive pitch. Scott Keogh, head of Volkswagen Group of America, approved the agency’s hiring. He was previously CMO at Audi.
“These are exciting times at Volkswagen and I’m confident Kimberley is the person to lead the brand into this new era as we expand our portfolio and bring EVs to the masses,'' Movassaghi said in a release. "Her expertise in launching new, innovative automotive products and her strong background in building and leading brands will set Volkswagen apart as we move into our electric future.”