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Joel Ewanick Resigns as Marketing Chief at General Motors

Joel Ewanick Resigns as Marketing Chief at General Motors

According to Bloomberg, auto giant General Motors (NYSE: GM) has parted ways with Global Marketing Chief Joel Ewanick, saying that he "failed to meet the expectations that the company has for its employees."

In the two short years Ewanick had been with General Motors, he made the decision to stop advertising on Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and to not advertise during the Super Bowl. These moves were supposed to save the company billions of dollars, but the company believes that they have had a negative impact.

Benzinga reported in May that General Motors was pulling its advertising from Facebook, with the company believing that paid ads on Facebook have little impact on car sales, raising questions about Facebook's ability to maintain 88 percent revenue growth.

Estimates suggest that, prior to GM's decision, it had spent $10 million on Facebook advertising. Even though it measures revenue in billions, any company will be unhappy to lose that amount. But it isn't the immediate sum of money that will worry Facebook the most, it is the possibility of other companies following suit.

"It's not unusual for us to move our spending around various media outlets - especially with the growth of multiple social and digital media outlets," GM said in a statement in May. "In terms of Facebook specifically, while we currently do not plan to continue with advertising, we remain committed to an aggressive content strategy through all of our products and brands, as it continues to be a very effective tool for engaging with our customers."

GM said in a company biography that Ewanick "was responsible for improving the positioning of the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands and consumer consideration of GM vehicles in the United States."

Ewanick made his name at Hyundai, developing the Assurance Program that allowed customers to return their vehicles if they lost their jobs. This lead to the Automotive News naming him marketing all-star of the year, Brandweek naming him marketer of the year and Forbes making him chief marketing officer of the year back in 2009.

That's all academic now though, with General Motors deciding that Ewanick failed to meet expectations. The company has seen him make some bold moves that haven't immediately paid off and Ewanick has paid the price for those perceived failures, which begs the question: will GM's next hire be more conventional?

On Monday morning, General Motors traded at about $20, up roughly 3 percent.

Follow me @BCallwood.


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