Updated: Joel Ewanick Adds Global CMO Role at GM

General Motors will search for a new U.S. marketing chief in the wake of Joel Ewanick’s rise to global chief marketing officer, a company representative said.

In the meantime, Ewanick, 50, will manage both roles. GM named him to the new corporate position today, seven months after he joined the company as vp of U.S. marketing.

In his new job, Ewanick will work closely with the presidents and marketing chiefs for Europe, Latin America and international, which encompasses all other markets, including the Asia-Pacific region, a GM representative said. With the promotion, he joins GM’s global executive committee and reports to worldwide CEO Dan Akerson.

In a statement about the appointment, Akerson cited Ewanick’s marketing acumen, creative leadership and understanding of consumers. “As we continue our rapid growth in major global markets, it is important that we take a more customer-focused view of our overall marketing strategy,” Akerson added.

More than 70 percent of GM’s total sales come from outside the U.S.

Since May, Ewanick has overseen domestic marketing on the Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick brands. On his watch, GM has shifted creative duties on both Chevrolet—its biggest selling brand—and Cadillac. Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco now handles Chevy, and Publicis Groupe’s Fallon in Minneapolis has Cadillac.

GM’s global “advertising costs” totaled $3.6 billion last year, according to the company’s annual report. Major media spending in the U.S. alone exceeded $1.6 billion, according to Nielsen.

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