Automotive News, Bloomberg News, and others reported that General Motors’ Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Joel Ewanick left the company on Sunday.
While senior GM executives are said to have been happy with Ewanick’s performance including the estimated $2 billion he saved, the request for Ewanick’s resignation was apparently triggered by problems with a sponsorship agreement he struck with a British sports team. The deal is said to have conflicted with GM policies.
In an e-mailed statement, GM said Ewanick failed to “meet the company’s expectations of an employee.”
Alan Batey, vice president of U.S. sales and service, will handle Ewanick’s duties on an interim basis.
Ewanick was hired away from Nissan and given the post of vice president, U.S. Marketing in May, 2010. His mission was improving the positioning of the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands and boosting consumer consideration of GM vehicles in the United States. One of Ewanick’s first moves was to dump longtime Chevrolet ad agency Campbell-Ewald and replace them with Goodby Silverstein, a company with which he had worked at Nissan. He later consolidated all Chevy advertising with Commonwealth of Detroit and placed all GM media buys under Aegis’ Carat unit.
Before working with Nissan, Ewanick spent three years at Hyundai, where Automotive News named him 2009 Marketing All-Star of the Year.
Ewanick was named General Motors’ CMO on December 17, 2010. He had responsibility for GM’s global brands including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Opel and Vauxhall.
Since its reorganization in 2009, General Motors has had problems building a stable management team. There have been multiple CEOs, a steady stream of high=level promotions followed by demotions or dismissals, resignations and realignments. This may be one of the reasons the company’s U.S. market share has fallen 1.8 points in the first six months of 2012 and its stock price has tumbled since March and is now trading close to its 52-week low.