• May 5, 2010
After yet another round of musical chairs amongst General Motors' executives, Susan Docherty will be removed from her position as vice president of marketing later this month. With just over six months behind her in the current job, Docherty will be given a new position within GM, which the automaker says it will announce in the near future. Rumors of Docherty's removal had been speculated for a while now, especially after her VP of sales position was dropped in another recent management shift.
Big shoes to fill, no doubt, but GM is certain that they've found a worthy replacement, especially if the automaker was willing to remove Docherty from the job in the first place. On May 24th, GM will welcome Joel Ewanick to the team – the man who helped Hyundai build its considerable marketing momentum over the past few years, though he did make a move to Nissan just a few months ago. GM's North American president, Mark Reuss, says, "Joel is highly regarded in industry and marketing circles, and his track record speaks for itself."

In a time when GM needs to give its entire brand image a good once-over, it makes sense to have the best marketing people possible on the team. What's more, with big announcements like Chevrolet ending its 91-year advertising contract with Campbell-Ewald and its new "Excellence for All" slogan on deck, some serious new marketing strategies will have to come into place to move new products off of dealer lots. GM's full press release is available after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]
Show full PR text
GM Names Joel Ewanick Vice President, U.S. Marketing

2010-05-05

DETROIT – General Motors today announced that Joel Ewanick has been appointed vice president, U.S. Marketing, effective May 24. Ewanick, 49, will report to Mark Reuss, president, GM North America.

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

As the single point for marketing, Ewanick will have responsibility for improving the positioning of the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands and consumer consideration of GM vehicles in the United States.

Most recently, he was vice president of marketing, chief marketing officer for Nissan North America. Before joining Nissan in March, Ewanick served as vice president of marketing for Hyundai Motor America. During his three year tenure, Ewanick earned industry recognition as the most impactful automotive marketer in America; Automotive News' 2009 Marketing All Star of the Year; Brandweek's 2009 Marketer of the Year; and Forbes' Chief Marketing Officer of the Year.

Ewanick succeeds Susan Docherty, 47, whose new position at GM will be announced soon. With extensive sales, service and marketing experience, Docherty has held positions of increasing responsibility in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia. Most notable is her brand work, including the launch of the 2010 Buick LaCrosse and GMC Terrain.

"Susan has been deeply involved in GM's sales and marketing initiatives for many years," Reuss said. "With her drive and focus, she has laid the groundwork for solid plans and rejuvenated our agency relationships, placing us in good stead for the future. We look forward to her contribution across the business moving forward."


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  • 27 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I heard Docherty speak a while back and her entire speech was filled with plattitudes and corporate marketing speak. She literally spoke for six minutes without actually saying anything of substance. It was like a Dilbert cartoon.
      • 4 Years Ago
      NEWS FLASH

      Susan Docherty has been given the position of GM Executive Cook. Additionally, she will be responsible for the management of the laundry room. In a statement provided to AP, Docherty said:

      "I am glad to move to a new and exciting position at GM. I look forward to making pies and folding shirts"
        • 4 Years Ago
        NEWS FLASH / UPDATE

        Susan Docherty, previously GM Executive Cook, has been replaced by Rachel Ray. In addition, Docherty's responsibilities for management of the laundry room has been outsourced to Chin's Chinese Laundry in Flint, MI.

        Docherty said in a released statement said, "It has been an honor and a privilege these past few hours to head up this important function for GM. Alas, making pies and folding shirts has proved to be too difficult. I will be now focused on pencil sharpening and removal of gum from underneath Mark Reuss' desk."


      • 4 Years Ago
      Speaking of "Excellence for all":

      In search of Chevrolet’s soul.
      http://www.autoextremist.com/
        • 4 Years Ago
        well Im not so sure the new agency constructed the slogan. I recall hearing that same slogan a few months back maybe even last year, it was touted around just before the 60 day guarantee program. So I think CE might have done this no Publics.

        BTW - good read it sure puts the brand into perspective.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So who will be axed next?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Moms I Like to F$%^
      • 4 Years Ago
      good move bringing in Joel Ewanick.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The impression I get is that Whitacre realizes that Susan Docherty is actually very talented, but he's having trouble putting her in a position that maximizes her skills. It's kind of hard in a management position when you have someone on your team that you know is a huge resource, but finding the best way to channel it is the major problem.

      And yes, she is actually very talented. Despite her years at GM, she absolutely understands that GM's vehicles have been nothing but sub-standard for the last 15 years. The impression I got from all of her interviews is that she uses a very deliberate and measured approach to rebuilding GM's reputation, one vehicle at a time. That's exactly the attitude they need.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Despite her years at GM, she absolutely understands that GM's vehicles have been nothing but sub-standard for the last 15 years. "

        Thank you Capt. Obvious.

        If she doesn't understand that by now, she should be gone. But if she is indeed the superstar that you say she is, wouldn't Whitacre put (and then keep) her in a place of major responsibility? To replace her but not reassign her immediately says that they are going to let her twist in the wind.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks, I'll use that line in my next interview:

        "Fired? Ha ha, no, you have it all wrong. They recognized I was extremely talented but they just couldn't figure out how to use my talents. In fact I was SO supertalented that finding a way to channel my major awesomeness was far too difficult for them so I decided to seek opportunities elsewhere."

        Man, I am so gonna get that job.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's all GM needs, a new marketing manager. That and a new ad campaign will make all well again.

      On a positive note though I'm happy to see The General not hesitate to axe execs who would have lasted for years and years in the old paradigm. Will be a while before GM and Chrysler become relatively stable so I expect we'll continue to see more similar moves.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I knew that Volt Dance fiasco would come back and bite her in the @$$....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Man... that Chevy "slogan" still gets me. What are they thinking?
        • 4 Years Ago
        There emblem gets me... I know its a pride thing..but I strongly feel it needs to change since the vehicles are getting better.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Same old GM. Keep shuffling the deck, and wondering why nothing ever comes together.
      • 4 Years Ago
      GM copies Hyundai ;-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hyundai has finally stopped the repetitive shuffling, and that's part of the reason for their current success. I suspect that Ewanick wasn't happy at Nissan, or GM put some decent money on the table.
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