Tue, Jul 31, 2012 - Page 15 News List

General Motors marketing chief officer resigns

AP, DETROIT, Michigan

General Motors Co (GM) said Joel Ewanick has resigned as global chief marketing officer. The announcement follows several major changes to the Detroit automaker’s advertising approach and just ahead of its second-quarter earnings report on Thursday.

GM said on Sunday that Ewanick had elected to resign and his decision was effective immediately. The 52-year old executive joined the company in 2010 to oversee marketing for the company’s North American unit and was promoted within months to head its global marketing business.

GM hired Ewanick in hopes that he would find something similarly innovative to shake up its marketing and improve sales.

However, his time at GM has been less inspired by some measures. Ewanick was at the helm for the launch of the “Chevy Runs Deep” campaign, which failed to resonate with consumers.

He also was at the head of marketing as it made several surprising changes to its advertising approach.

The company announced this spring that it would pull US$10 million in ads from Facebook, saying they weren’t effective. It also decided not advertise at the Super Bowl due to price hikes demanded for the air time. The Super Bowl traditionally is advertising’s biggest spectacle, with automakers buying up a big chunk of air time.

This is not the only executive change as GM tries to regain its footing. The company replaced its European CEO earlier this month amid a difficult effort to turn around its money-losing Opel and Vauxhall businesses.

GM is still 26 percent owned by the US government, which received stock in exchange for a controversial US$49.5 billion bailout that got the company through bankruptcy protection. The company is far leaner and free of massive debt now, but is still in recovery mode.

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