By on December 17, 2010

In a nod to the fact that growth lies elsewhere on the globe, GM created a new position rarely seen elsewhere: Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Job description: Head and direct global marketing. Job filled by: Joel Ewanick.

The marketing maven joined GM in May, after a very short (and apparently not too happy) stint at Nissan.  Ewanick became famous for his marketing work for Hyundai and for implementing gutsy marketing strategies. Ewanick is credited for a lot of Hyundai’s U.S. success.

According to the official GM communiqué, “Ewanick, 50, will report to Dan Akerson as Global CMO and continue to report to Mark Reuss, president, GM North America  in his current U.S. marketing role.”  Akerson calls Ewanick “the right leader to take GM’s marketing strategy to the next level.”

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9 Comments on “GM Gets A CMO: Ewanick Will Take On The World...”

  • avatar

    I hope this guy is up to the challenge.  I think there are too many unrealistic expectations placed upon GM (at least in the US). I don’t envy him at all.
    Good luck and Godspeed Mr. Ewanick. I hope you outperform your predecessors by a large margin.

  • avatar

    It sounds like Ackerman is in over his head, if he needs to set up a management layer that will have the following responsibilities.
    “He will ensure consistent global messaging for all brands including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Opel and Vauxhall.”
    That’s a tall order.
    Chevrolet as a brand is adrift in the US.  Honestly, I think Chevrolet sells as well as it does in spite of its current marketing.
    Meanwhile, Holden, Opel and Vauxhall are three very different markets even though they sell similar vehicles. Does Joel have handle on what works in Deutschland versus the UK?

    • 0 avatar

      He will be managing the people who come up with the ideas.  I don’t think his job is to come up with the ideas.
      If he is a good manager, and gives his staff the resources, support and freedom to do their job, he will be successful.

    • 0 avatar


      I’m not sure what you are complaining about, exactly. GM Marketing is screwed up, so they hired someone from outside the company with a proven track record of success. That’s a smart move.

      Ackerman isn’t in over his head, he’s making a shrewd decision to delegate authority to an expert. That what a CEO is supposed to do.

  • avatar

    “Head and direct global marketing.”

    The adventures of Max & Al should play real well in China.

  • avatar

    Is this a change in name and/or mission?

    And to be honest, isn’t every board-level v.p. of marketing essentially a CMO?

    Or is there something more to this that I’ve missed in the article like a separation of the sales and marketing functions?

  • avatar

    non event

  • avatar

    Actually, the CMO title is far from rare.  It’s been all the rage for companies to put this title on the VP (or senior VP or marketing) for the past 10 years or so.

  • avatar

    a Cruze LS that doesn’t come with Cruise. a new Regal not available in Red. more confusing incentives than ever, dealers being strong armed into spending useless millions on store rehabs requiring grossly overpriced materials, perfectly fine ad agencies ditched after decades for personal friends of new hires…yes the marketing at GM has changed, it’s gotten worse since Ebonic has been “movin’ on up”

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