Quote Of The Day: Mark LaNeve Knows Competence Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

“Susan is more than capable of doing the job,” said Mark LaNeve, a mentor of Ms. Docherty’s who left GM in October and is now CMO at Allstate. The position “is a very big job and it’s a lot easier when the market is good than when the market is bad.”

From AdAge‘s paean to GM Sales and Marketing Diva Susan Docherty. Of course, what AdAge fails to mention is that LaNeve was ousted after overseeing years of declining sales, a detail that casts his judgment on the topic severely into question. No worries though. AdAge enthuses that Docherty is

described by insiders and former co-workers as a smart, hard-charging and pragmatic leader who will push responsibility down the food chain and vigorously defend ad managers who work for her — while being a champion of creative and holding them accountable for their decisions.

Uh huh. Too bad the primary evidence for this is the fact that Docherty “vigorously defended” the Buick ad seen above from none other than GM’s Bob Lutz. A former colleague of Docherty’s describes that bold stand as “good for the creative side,” and GM CEO Ed Whitacre must agree, seeing as he recently stripped Bob Lutz of his marketing title and gave it to Docherty. When MaxBob sounds like the only sane person in the building and ousted deadwood execs are endorsing their replacements, you know it’s time to get scared.

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  • Willbodine Willbodine on Dec 07, 2009

    Um, it could have been worse. Imagine if the role of the director had been played by Tiger Woods.

  • Mtymsi Mtymsi on Dec 07, 2009

    LaNeve is a CMO at Allstate? What is a CMO? That's a new one on me, I'm guessing C is Chief and O is Officer what does the M stand for? Marketing perhaps?

    • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Dec 07, 2009

      Yes, the "M" stands for "marketing," at least it does at all of the companies I've worked with that have an officer with this title.

  • Boyphenom666 Boyphenom666 on Dec 07, 2009

    Not a big fan of using pop music to set the mood. Cadillac and Led Zeppelin was barely tolerable, the Buick knock-off version is a real turn-off. Maximum Bob was on the right track with the commercials. I like the new message but not the actual commercials themselves. They had a cheap, budget, local TV commercial feel to them. And the guy on the radio who tells you to go to "ChevyDealer.com" has the voice of a third-rate weekend radio DJ. Bottom line is that Maximum Bob was doing the right thing. The commercials needed more polish, though.

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Dec 08, 2009

    I think most women would find that ad idiotic-at least I hope they would. I'm still scratching my head as to why Pontiac Division was closed but Buick still plods on in its inexorable pilgrimage to the domestic tar pit. Mark LaNeve managed prove that there is something worse that being a GM employee -- being an GM employee who has Allstate Insurance: The position “is a very big job and it’s a lot easier when the market is good than when the market is bad.” Thanks for that insight captain obvious. All that time in business school wasn't wasted on you!

    • See 1 previous
    • Boyphenom666 Boyphenom666 on Dec 08, 2009

      You guys have such short memories. Pontiac is way too similar to Chevrolet. And do you not remember how Oldsmobile was the Number 3 brand as recently as the early 1980's? Buick and Oldsmobile went after a similar customer, trouble was they didn't have product to back it up. With competitive product in the pipeline, I wouldn't be so quick to write Buick off. Not everybody needs or can afford to wear Johnny Versache (Cadillac) and not everybody wants to wear Levis (Chevrolet). Buick ideally is like Polo, Nautica, Hilfiger ... nicer than average, but not a budget-buster. I believe there is a market for a car like this.