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More Musical Chairs in the Executive Suite

Familiar faces, unfamiliar places.

by on Apr.07, 2011

Former GM exec Steve Shannon takes over marketing at Hyundai.

The only thing constant is change, goes the old saying, and that has become especially true in the automotive world, where jobs and titles have been changing fast, in recent months, particularly on the marketing side.

The latest round of musical chairs sees a long-time General Motors veteran, Steve Shannon, land in Korean territory, while Marty Collins, a one-time Ford executive has to hope he can remember where the executive washroom is as he heads back to Dearborn after four years with retail giant Group 1 Automotive.

Steve Shannon was a seemingly fast-rising star until his sudden departure from GM, in March 2010.  He was serving as the general manager of the Cadillac division but fell victim to one in the seemingly endless series of cuts launched by former CEO Ed Whitacre (and since continued by new Chief Executive Dan Akerson).

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The 52-year-old Shannon follows in the footsteps, ironically, of two marketing chiefs snagged by GM.  Joel Ewanick, the first to migrate to Detroit, is now the American giant’s global marketing director.  His long-time lieutenant, and then successor, at Hyundai, Chris Perry, followed Ewanick to GM last August.  Perry is now North American marketing chief.