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GM names new marketing VP

May 5, 2010 http://detnews.com/article/20100505/AUTO01/5050414

GM names new marketing VP

ROBERT SNELL AND DAVID SHEPARDSON
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. replaced marketing Vice President Susan Docherty today with a marketing executive from rival automaker Nissan Motor Co. in the latest shakeup of the automaker’s North American leadership.

Her successor as vice president of U.S. marketing is Joel Ewanick, who was briefly Nissan vice president of marketing and chief marketing officer in North America.

Ewanick joined Nissan in late March after serving as marketing chief for Hyundai Motor Co. in North America since 2007, where he developed the successful "Hyundai Advantage" marketing campaign that offered to let people who lost their job return their Hyundai.

Nissan said it would name a successor at a later time.

Docherty will remain with GM in a position that will be announced soon, GM said today.

Docherty said in an email that there are "bright things ahead" in her career at GM, declining to say what her new position will be.

"We are changing at the new GM," Docherty said. "We are going to continue to change, until we are great again!"

"Joel is highly regarded in industry and marketing circles, and his track record speaks for itself," said Mark Reuss, GM’s North American president. "We are very pleased to have his marketing acumen, creative leadership and energy at GM at this critical time."

Ewanick has also held executive positions at Porsche Cars North America, Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A. and Saatchi & Saatchi Team One Advertising, where he led the Lexus account as planning supervisor.

The move comes two months after GM revamped its North American leadership team, splitting the sales and marketing operations in a series of moves sparked by the automaker’s lack of speed and success since emerging from bankruptcy.

In that revamp, GM appointed Steve Carlisle as head of U.S. sales and stripped Docherty of sales and service responsibilities, leaving her in charge of marketing.

Since GM Chairman Edward Whitacre Jr. took over as CEO in December, he has replaced at least two dozen executives. He has been eager to bring in some outsiders, replacing the company’s top spokesman and lobbyists with confidants.

On March 31, he told remaining executives that he has essentially finished making changes to the executive team.

"I want to reassure you that the major leadership changes are behind us," Whitacre wrote in a March 31 letter that was first reported by Bloomberg News. "The team we have in place today is the team that will take us forward."

Docherty was in Washington on Saturday attending the White House Correspondents Dinner as a guest of the Washington Post advertising staff.

She posted a message on Twitter noting she "got to meet Jim Cramer, Matt Lauer, Christiane Amanpour, Rick Santelli, and many more, great night!"

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