new role is GM senior executive and top lobbyist Robert E. Ferguson, who will oversee global growth and development of the luxury brand.
Ferguson is responsible for marketing, brand management and advertising for Cadillac around the world and is also expected to be responsible for sales in the new year. He will report directly to CEO Dan Akerson, who said of Ferguson, "The Cadillac brand will hit a higher gear under his watch."
Ferguson is taking on his new role at a critical time for Cadillac. The American luxury brand is rolling out the ATS and XTS, and word is that a new flagship model is on the way.
"I'm excited to join a talented team during a period of revitalized growth," said Ferguson of this expansion, "The opportunity to strengthen and grow Cadillac is ours for the taking." According to The Detroit News, Ferguson has said the brand needs a flagship model, and has even hinted at a two-seat roadster. Ferguson said, "We're looking at a flagship model now. It would be a car that everyone looks at and says, 'wow, Cadillac is smoking.'"
Before coming on at GM in 2010, Ferguson was a senior strategist at Public Strategies, a business advisory and strategic communications firm. His senior executive role will be filled by Selim Bingol, who will also serve as chairman of the GM Foundation, reporting directly to Akerson.
It should be noted that both Ferguson and Bingol served stints in executive positions at AT&T. Ferguson's time there was prior to his Public Strategies position, while Bingol came over in March of 2010, directly from the telecommunications company. Both men held positions at AT&T during times of unprecedented growth. Bingol and Ferguson are both former AT&T colleagues of former GM CEO, Ed Whitacre.
Answering directly to Ferguson are U.S. VP of Cadillac marketing Don Butler, and U.S. VP of Cadillac sales Chase Hawkins. Ferguson will assume his new role immediately.
Exclusive marketing focus to accelerate premium luxury brand's international growth
DETROIT - General Motors today appointed senior executive Robert E. Ferguson to lead the global growth and development of the company's iconic Cadillac brand.
In the newly created position of vice president, global Cadillac, Ferguson will be responsible for marketing, brand management and advertising for Cadillac in markets around the world. The move is effective immediately and he will report directly to GM chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. Responsibility for sales is also expected to transition to Ferguson in the new year.
"Bob is a proven leader with vision and a will to win at this critical time for Cadillac," said Akerson. "He brings a deep business and marketing background that has been marked by delivering results at every stop and under every circumstance. The Cadillac brand will hit a higher gear under his watch."
Ferguson heads Cadillac at a time when GM's premium luxury brand is planning the most extensive round of product launches and upgrades in its history, and is poised to enter new international markets with industry-leading products like the XTS, ATS and SRX.
"I'm excited to join a talented team during a period of revitalized growth," said Ferguson. "The opportunity to strengthen and grow Cadillac is ours for the taking. More people in new markets will experience what makes Cadillac one of the industry's most revered brands."
U.S. vice president for Cadillac marketing Don Butler and U.S. vice president for Cadillac sales and service Chase Hawkins will report to Ferguson as he begins building out his global team.
Ferguson, 53, joined GM in 2010 and is currently vice president for global public policy. He is credited with helping GM strengthen its position and voice on Capitol Hill, and with its many regulatory agencies, on a wide range of business challenges related to energy, tax, labor and finance policy. In that role, Ferguson has become particularly familiar with GM's product portfolio and advanced technology plans as the automaker contends with new fuel economy rules and safety regulations.
Prior to joining GM, Ferguson was at the business advisory and strategic communications firm Public Strategies, where he worked with a diverse and international group of clients as a senior strategist. His work with the firm included providing international relations and crisis counsel to the president of the International Olympic Committee during the period leading up to and during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, as well as leading strategy around several high-profile and complex financial and merger and acquisition transactions.
Before joining Public Strategies, Ferguson spent more than 10 years as an executive at AT&T, most recently as the president of state legislative and regulatory affairs. He also gained a depth of experience on the sales side of the business, as group president and CEO of SBC's Enterprise Business Services. In that role, he had responsibility for 10,000 employees - one of the nation's largest sales and engineering organizations at the time. During his tenure, Ferguson oversaw data services, Internet, long distance and customer service operations and grew revenues of $5 billion and EBIT of $1.9 billion.
Ferguson's previous responsibilities in Washington will be assumed by Selim Bingol, who will also retain his current communications role and will become vice president, global communications and public policy. Bingol, who also will serve as chairman of the GM Foundation, will continue to report directly to Akerson and remain based in Detroit.
Bingol, 52, joined GM in March 2010, having served as a senior communications and public affairs strategist for a number of large, international clients across diverse industries. Prior to GM, Bingol was senior vice president, corporate communications at AT&T, during a time of unprecedented growth, merger and acquisition activity, and federal and state regulatory scrutiny.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.