General Motors' global marketing chief, Joel Ewanick, resigned… (Los Angeles Times )
Joel Ewanick, the head of global marketing forGeneral Motors Co., has resigned abruptly from the Detroit automaker.
Ewanick's departure, announced Sunday by the company, comes as GM is struggling with falling market share after some controversial changes to its advertising strategy.
GM said Ewanick's resignation is effective immediately.
"Joel failed to meet the expectations the company has of its employees," said GM spokesman Greg Martin. "We have no further details to provide."
GM hired Ewanick as its U.S. marketing chief two years ago, quickly promoting him to head its global marketing business.
Viewed as a marketing whiz in automotive circles, the 52-year-old Ewanick is best known for his work at Hyundai Motor America, where he developed the headline-grabbing Assurance Program during the depths of the Great Recession. That program guaranteed that Hyundai buyers could return their vehicles if they lost their jobs. Only a few hundred customers took advantage of that offer, but it was seen as a marketing triumph that helped Hyundai grab market share from rivals even as auto sales were slumping.
During his three years at Hyundai, Ewanick was named Automotive News' 2009 marketing all star of the year, Brandweek's 2009 marketer of the 9ear and Forbes' chief marketing officer of the year. He left Hyundai for a post as chief marketing officer for Nissan North America before joining GM in May 2010.
Ewanick has not been able to work as much magic at GM, however. The Chevy Runs Deep campaign launched in the fall of 2010 was widely ridiculed. More recently, GM said it would pull $10 million in ads from Facebook, questioning their effectiveness. It also declined to advertise at the Super Bowl, traditionally the advertising industry's biggest spectacle.
Through June, the automaker has sold a little more than 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S., a 4% gain during a period when the industry has grown sales 15%. GM's share of the U.S. market fell to 18.1% during the first half of this year from 19.9% during the same period last year. The company will report second-quarter results this week.
Alan Batey, GM's vice president of U.S. sales and service, will assume the role of global chief marketing officer on an interim basis.
Ewanick has a marketing degree from Cal State Northridge.