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GM said to be preparing sales, marketing shakeup


GM said to be preparing sales, marketing shakeup

Automotive News | February 28, 2010 – 4:07 pm EST


DETROIT — General Motors Co. will again shake up its U.S. sales and marketing management as early as this week, three people familiar with the plan said.

Susan Docherty, vice president in charge of sales and marketing, will shed responsibility for sales, the people said. Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, will pick up that role.

In addition, GM will create a divisional reporting structure that separates sales and marketing. Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick-GMC will each have a marketing boss, reporting to Docherty, and a sales leader, reporting to Reuss, said the sources, who declined to be identified. The division chiefs now handle both functions.

The shakeup shows that Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre is impatient to boost sales and for consumers to appreciate what he believes is the high quality of GM vehicles. When he became chief executive in December, Whitacre said his sales and marketing team would need to show results quickly.

GM spokesman Jason Laird declined to comment about any changes.

The move will heap more responsibility on Reuss, 46, whom Whitacre promoted to his current position in December. Before that, he briefly headed GM engineering and was chief of GM’s Australian unit. Docherty, 47, will continue to report to Reuss.

“This takes a layer out of the system,” one of the sources said.

GM still hasn’t finalized who will fill the divisional sales and marketing posts, two of the sources said. Cadillac boss Bryan Nesbitt took over in August, while Chevrolet’s Jim Campbell and Buick-GMC’s Sweeney were tapped in December.

Docherty has led U.S. sales since October and picked up responsibility for service and marketing in December.

Before that, she spent more than a year as general manager of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. She has also headed the Hummer brand, served as marketing director for Cadillac and GM Europe, and filled a variety of field and regional assignments.

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