Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations appointed automotive industry veteran Russell Wager as vice president of marketing.

Wager will report to Senior Vice President Robert Davis.

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Mazda said Director of Marketing John Abel remains with the company and will take a new position to be announced.

Chief Marketing Officer Don Romano resigned from the company in July. Romano had also held the title of Mazda Canada Inc. president.

Wager will oversee Mazda’s U.S. print and digital communications, public relations, and its participation in auto shows, among other duties. He also will oversee the automaker's relationship with ad agency The Garage Team Mazda, also in Irvine.

Wager has more than 20 years of industry experience, and most recently managed automotive accounts in Tokyo and Beijing for TBWA/Hakuhodo International and DDB Advertising.

Mazda North American Operations is a subsidiary of Japan-based Mazda Motor Corp. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the U.S and Mexico. It has 434 employees in Orange County.