* Spokesman: Ewanick failed to meet expectations GM has for
* Head of US sales & service Batey appointed as interim
* Ewanick declines to comment
NEW YORK, July 29 General Motors Co
ousted its global marketing chief Joel Ewanick a little more
than two years after he joined the company to lead an overhaul
of its marketing strategy.
A source with knowledge of the matter said Ewanick failed to
properly report financial details about a recent sponsorship
deal between GM's mass-market Chevrolet brand and the world's
most popular soccer club, Manchester United.
When asked about the source's observations on the
sponsorship deal, Ewanick, 52, said in an email that he could
not comment. GM signed on as the soccer club's automotive
sponsor in a five-year deal announced in May.
The largest U.S. automaker said on Sunday that Ewanick's
departure was effective immediately. He will be replaced on an
interim basis by Alan Batey, the head of U.S. sales and service.
"He failed to meet the expectations that the company has for
its employees," GM spokesman Greg Martin said. He declined to
Ewanick was named vice president and head of GM's U.S.
marketing in May 2010, about seven months before the automaker's
blockbuster initial public offering in November of that year.
"It has been a privilege & honor to work with the GM Team
and to be a small part of Detroit's turnaround," Ewanick said on
Twitter. "I wish everyone at GM all the best."
The first major effort under his watch was the "Chevy Runs
Deep" campaign that launched at the start of the Major League
Baseball's World Series in 2010. He was promoted to global chief
marketing officer in December 2010.
One of the television ads that ran after GM's IPO shows a
boxer being knocked down in slow motion, a failed rocket launch
and a motorcycle crash. The tagline reads: "We all fall down.
Thank you for helping us get back up." The ad hinted at the
automaker's 2009 bankruptcy and federal bailout. GM is 26
percent owned by the U.S. government.
Ewanick joined GM from Nissan North America, where he served
briefly as vice president and chief marketing officer.
Before that, he spent three years as vice president of
marketing for Hyundai Motor America, where he helped power sales
and market share gains for Hyundai in 2009 during a crushing
slump in industry-wide sales. Ewanick pushed Hyundai into
advertising at events like the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards
just as other automakers, including GM, were pulling back.
In an official company biography, GM said Ewanick "was
responsible for improving the positioning of the Chevrolet,
Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands and consumer consideration of GM
vehicles in the United States."
Ewanick pulled GM's paid advertising from Facebook earlier
this year and announced recently that the automaker would not be
advertising during the Super Bowl in 2013. Both moves were
regarded as controversial within and outside of GM. However,
earlier this month, sources said GM and Facebook executives were
back in discussions.
Under Ewanick, GM also consolidated its global advertising
and marketing, in a move intended to save the company about $2
billion over the next five years.