General Motor’s global chief marketing officer, Joel Ewanick, has resigned. His resignation is effective immediately.
The resignation and illusive hopes
The resignation was announced on Sunday by GM and it is said to be the result of Joel Ewanick’s controversial decisions regarding GM’s advertising strategy. Having implemented those changes, GM is currently struggling with dropping market shares. GM’s spokesman, Greg Martin, said: "Joel failed to meet the expectations the company has of its employees."
According to some sources, Joel Ewanick was expected to decide whether he would resign or be dismissed from the company. Just few days before the Joel Ewanick’s resignation it was also announced that the company was restricting its executive ranks to eliminate both redundancy and complexity. However GM’s CEO, Dan Akerson, had supported Joel Ewanick even though the chief marketing officer had been criticized because of a decision not to pay advertising on Facebook. According to data, shares of the company closed Friday up 56 cents, 2.9 percent at $19.67.
Other senior managers, who were also satisfied with the Joel Ewanick’s work, demanded his resignation after analyzing a sponsorship contract. The agreement had not met GM’s policies. Joel Ewanick posted on his Twitter: “It has been a privilege & honor to work with the GM Team and to be a small part of Detroit’s turnaround,” adding: “I wish everyone at GM all the best.”
Certainly, the Joel Ewanick’s resignation will cause some problems to GM’s CEO Dan Akerson who has been trying to hamper the company’s market losses and end deficits in Europe which have totaled $16.4 billion since 1999. The days the company has to face also the possibility that Toyota will reclaim the title of the largest automaker from GM itself.
A marketing wiz
52-year-old Joel Ewanick has been viewed as a marketing genius especially in the automotive enviroment. He is, however, best known for his achievements while working at Hyundai Motor America. The well known Assurance Program was created by Joel Ewanick himself during the Great Recession. Any Hyundai’s buyer who lost his job could return his new car according to the program. Although, only a few hundred customers took the opportunity to do it, a marketing triumph was undeniable and it helped Hyundai to grab market share from rivals.
Joel 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. After working for Hyundai, he started his adventure with Nissan North America just to change it for GM in May 2010.
Although Joel Ewanick had been known as a marketing wiz, he was not able to use his magic in GM. His decisions regarding pulling $10 million in ads from Facebook and not advertising at the Super Bowl were questioned.
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn
But not only Joel Ewanick had to kiss GM goodbye. Karl-Friedrich Stracke was removed as head of European operations. GM has employed many new faces such as Steve Girsky, Thomas Sedran. The company believes that they will be able to change a current deteriorating situation of the company. According to data, GM’s losses in Europe have totaled $16.4 billion since 1999. There are still a lot of things to be done.