Outgoing General Motors CMO Joel Ewansick’s greatest hits

General Motors has waved goodbye to its chief marketing officer Joel Ewansick, after he spent only two years at the company.

A spokesperson for GM told The Wall Street Journal that Ewansick “failed to meet the expectations the company has for its employees,” and thus elected to resign. Reports suggest the key player in the company’s restructuring efforts failed to properly vet the financial details of a sponsorship deal.

Ewansick is known for being a divisive, brilliant marketer.

Only two weeks ago, GM’s chief executive Dan Akerson praised Ewansick as “full of energy”.

“[He] comes across as a glass breaker… But that is too simplistic. He is willing to challenge the status quo of the corporation and he has done a good job.”

During the GFC, Ewansick convinced Hyundai to run an ad campaign promising to let people return their new cars should they lose their job. The guarantee helped keep Hyundai’s sales up, and very few cars were returned.

In April, he pulled GM’s Facebook advertising days before the social network’s IPO, saying he had concerns about its effectiveness.

During his brief stint at GM, where he had one of the world’s largest advertising budgets ($4.5 billion globally) at his disposal, he headed a number of unique, attention-grabbing ad campaigns. His triumphs included the motor company’s 2011 SuperBowl ad – a defiant homage to Detroit featuring iconic rapper Eminem – and a humorous 2012 dig at GM’s competitor Ford (Ford threatened to sue – a threat Ewansick ridiculed).


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