Since emerging from bankruptcy, last year, General Motors has struggled to pick up its normally torpid pace, and no one seems to be more willing to move on Silicon Valley time more than the maker’s new marketing czar, Joel Ewanick.
Since arriving in Detroit, earlier this year, from Hyundai — via a brief detour to Nissan — Ewanick has shown himself anything but content with the status quo at GM’s oft-maligned marketing operations. The former Hyundai wiz kid has tossed out old ad agencies and created new alliances. Now, Ewanick is at it again, shuffling management at GM’s largest and most important brand.
Then again, ousted Chevy General Manager Jim Campbell didn’t exactly help his own cause, his relocation coming just two months after attaching his name to a much-maligned memo imploring GM employees to say “Chevrolet” rather than the popular “Chevy” nickname.
The affable Campbell was generally well-liked within the traditional GM organization. But the old-boys network has never been weaker at the company, as Ewanick’s soon-to-retire boss, CEO Ed Whitacre, has proven repeatedly, over the last 14 months, with his own grand realignments. Now, it would appear that Ewanick is looking to stamp his own imprint on the company. And, three months after arriving at GM, he is placing one of his own guys, former Hyundai marketer Chris Perry, in the critical position of running GM’s biggest and most important division.