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General Motors says Joel Ewanick, marketing chief, 'failed to meet expectations'

General Motors has abruptly parted ways with global marketing chief Joel Ewanick, despite claiming he improved the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands.

Joel Ewanick GM General MotorsEnlarge
General Motors US Marketing Vice President Joel Ewanick, who drove a Chevy Volt 2,400 miles to appear at the Los Angeles Auto Show, speaks at the unveiling of the Camero convertible at the two-day media preview event for the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)

General Motors has abruptly parted ways with its global marketing chief Joel Ewanick, saying he "failed to meet the expectations that the company has for its employees."  

Controversial moves by Ewanick, hired by GM from Nissan two years ago, included pulling the Detroit automaker's paid advertising from Facebook earlier this year and announcing recently that the company would not be advertising during the Super Bowl in 2013, Reuters reported.

Both moves — intended to save the company billions of dollars over the next five years, Reuters wrote — were regarded as controversial within and outside of GM.

Ewanick, 52, was hired by GM as its US marketing chief in 2010 but quickly promoted to head of global marketing business.

According to the LA Times, Ewanick was best known for developing the Assurance Program for Hyundai Motor America during the recession.

The program, which guaranteed that Hyundai buyers could return their vehicles if they lost their jobs, helped Hyundai grab market share from rivals amid an auto sales slump.

In three years at Hyundai, he was named Automotive News' 2009 marketing all star of the year, Brandweek's 2009 marketer of the year and Forbes' chief marketing officer of the year, the Times wrote. 

Reuters cites an official GM company biography as saying 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." 

The Ad Age cited Ewanick's departure as evidence of volatility within GM's executive ranks under Dan Akerson, the GM CEO hired a few months after Ewanick.

Akerson had replaced the head of GM's troubled European operations several times and already installed a new product development chief, Ad Age added. 

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