By on April 7, 2011

Automotive News Europe [sub] reports that, having lost “Mr Opel” to Volkswagen, GM’s European division is losing another veteran to the competition. The company announced:

We regret that Frank Weber has quit. We thank him for what he has done and wish him the best for the future

Weber, Opel’s product boss, had previously led GM’s global midsize vehicle development and was the head of electric vehicle development (where he wetnursed the Volt) before moving to Opel. It’s not clear where he’ll be going, but he will be going to an “as-yet-unnamed competitor.”
In other industry personnel news, AN [sub] reports that Hyundai has hired GM veteran Steve Shannon to fill its head marketing position, which was opened when Joel Ewanick left for Nissan and then GM. Shannon previously held marketing positions at Saturn, Olds, Buick, Hummer, Saab and Cadillac in his more than 25 years at GM.
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7 Comments on “Opel Loses Another Veteran, Hyundai Snags A GM Vet...”


  • avatar
    gslippy

    Being coldly analytical about it, how did Steve Shannon convince Hyundai (of all companies) that his marketing experiences at Saturn, Oldsmobile, Hummer, and Saab qualify him to help Hyundai?  Was it his Buick and Cadillac work that sold them?

  • avatar
    brettc

    I’m confused as well. Does Hyundai not know what’s happened at GM in the last 25 years?  I don’t think a GM lifer that worked in marketing is the best person for Hyundai to hire. But I assume they know what they’re doing.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    “Shannon previously held marketing positions at Saturn, Olds, Buick, Hummer, Saab and Cadillac in his more than 25 years at GM.”

    He’s only two for six in his Marketing Dept. prowess; sounds shaky to me.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    What do you think are the odds that Weber will end up at VW too?
     
    As for Shannon, he could just be a place-holder until someone better can get out of a non-compete. Hopefully the folks who do the actual work there will ignore him and continue doing what they’re doing.
     
    Regardless, the average shelf life of a CMO in any industry is 18-24 months. Plus, Hyundai has always been a revolving door for top American execs. On that basis, I’d give Shannon a year and
     

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @bomberpete: “Regardless, the average shelf life of a CMO in any industry is 18-24 months.”
       
      Yep, they are rather short lived. But it isn’t any good as a thread if you can’t make it sound ominous…

  • avatar

    Hopefully the folks who do the actual work there will ignore him and continue doing what they’re doing.

    +1, and Amen. Otherwise I truly wonder if Hyundai isn’t deeply screwed.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Saturn: “Re-think American”. Olds: “Start Something”. Saab: “Born From Jets.” I can’t even remember a cohesive marketing plan that could identify Buick or Cadillac over the past few years. Hummer at the crest of the SUV craze pretty much advertised and marketed itself.

    I hope Hyundai isn’t getting too big too fast and heading for a quick GM like burn out.

    Hiring executives from GM is like mixing anti freeze in your Gatorade. Tastes good but a slow painful death ensues.


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