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Posts Tagged ‘PR’

Sproule Says Sayonara to Nissan

PR chief taking top flak spot at Microsoft

by on Feb.10, 2009

Sayonara Tokyo, hello Seattle

Sayonara Tokyo, hello Seattle

One of the youngest and well-respected PR chiefs in the auto industry is moving on. Just days after Nissan Motor Co. reported a massive loss and revealed plans to slash jobs around the world, Simon Sproule has announced he will be among those leaving the troubled Asian maker – in this case voluntarily. Sproule will become vice president and global public relations chief at Seattle-based Microsoft Corp., starting March 2nd.

“A big brand like that comes along for someone like me only once in a lifetime,” said Sproule, talking to TheDetroitBureau.com from the offices, in Tokyo, which he will officially vacate on February 27th.

So far, no word on who will replace him at Nissan. But the British-born media relations executive responded with a stern, “no,” when asked if his departure had anything to do with the announcement, on Monday, that Nissan would go billions of dollars into the red for the fiscal year ending March 31st, triggering 20,000 job cuts worldwide. Sproule said he had already signed up with Microsoft before the bad news became apparent.

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GM Loses Key PR Exec

Likely heir apparent Tony Cervone instead departs for UAL.

by on Feb.05, 2009

Gone to Chicago, GM PR's #2, Tony Cervone

Gone to Chicago, GM PR's #2, Tony Cervone

He seemed the most likely heir to the coveted PR throne at General Motors Corp., but instead, 46-year-old Tony Cervone is decamping from Detroit and heading over to Chicago, where he’ll become chief communications officer and senior vice president of UAL Corp., the parent of United Airlines.

Why, well Cervone isn’t saying publicly. But there are plenty of reasons to speculate. Certainly, there’s a big opportunity in the Windy City, both as a great place to live, and also to take on a good job at an airline that’s already gone through its financial meltdown and is now showing signs of recovery.

As second-in-command to Steve Harris – who himself came out of retirement for a limited turn as GM’s media relations boss – Cervone was generally perceived to be the man in line for the top job. And there was little to indicate he’d fallen out of favor with CEO Rick Wagoner, who would have to sign off on Harris’s eventual replacement.

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