Akerson: GM Marketing a group effort
Joel Ewanick split, and many suspected he was forced out the door of the Renaissance Center by General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. We may never know if the move was a result of anger in the boardroom, but Akerson took the time during GM's quarterly earnings conference call to point out that GM Marketing is more than one man.
"The fundamental approach is, no change" said Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann, making earlier statements about Ewanick's conduct not meeting the expectations of General Motors seem all the more personal. On a strictly professional basis, a deal with two English soccer teams and unfavorable advertising metrics, not to mention market share loss, have been cited as reasons for Ewanick's ouster.
Curiously, though, in the face of what seem to be plenty of examples of missed expectations and the need for a revamp, Akerson defends the automaker's strategy, which was presumably presided over by Ewanick. "I know a lot of public views this as a personality-driven industry," clarified Akerson, "It's a team effort. What you saw in the marketplace was a thought-out strategy that was agreed upon as a team." Firing the coach is a common move for teams that don't win, for sure, but taking a business-as-usual approach doesn't tend to clinch victories, and advertising decided upon by a committee tends to only excite said committee.