Tremors are shaking through the ranks of automotive car marketing.
Hyundai is taking it on the chin – again- with the departure of Chris Perry, who rose to VP-marketing in May after three months as interim ad chief.
Perry is jumping ship to General Motors as the new VP-marketing of its volume Chevrolet brand. Perry was lured away by his former Hyundai boss, Joel Ewanick, who joined GM as VP-marketing of all of its brands in May after a brief stop at Nissan. Perry will again report to Joel.
Ewanick keeps shaking it up at GM, a positive signal that real change is coming to the ad and marketing side of the house.
So, for the second time in about 6 months, Hyundai gets stiffed. No successor has been named, but the company has shown it has the smarts to bring in and/or promote smart ad talent. Still, in South Korean culture, such defections are considered displays of the utmost disloyalty.
Meantime, GM is keeping business card makers in business.
Perry replaces Jim Campbell, who stays a VP, but will need a new card in his new lateral, and less visible job, as the head of performance vehicles and motorsports. Campbell was promoted to his big Chevy job in December after a year leading fleet and commercial operations. The University of Michigan grad, who joined GM in 1998 as a Pontiac district manager, dropped his Chevy sales’ responsibilities in March.
Perry has the credentials. He spent a decade at Hyundai, starting as the head of brand planning, but eventually moving to director-marketing communications. When Ewanick split for Nissan in March, Perry as named interim VP-marketing and was given the job officially in May. Before Hyundai, Perry spent almost 10 years in various ad and marketing jobs at American Isuzu Motors. He also worked at ad agency Della Femina McNamee.
Hyundai CEO John Krafcik had, earlier this year, praised Perry for “his rare combination of consumer focus, creativity and teamwork.”
Ewanick just said of his new lieutenant: “I have worked with Chris in the past and know he will use his unique ability to integrate strategic and creative marketing activities across all communications disciplines to reconnect consumers to the Chevrolet brand.”
No secret these two guys work well together. Just look at the success they had as a team at Hyundai.
We wish them the same at Chevy.
MAKING TRACKS: The update on Steve Sturm, as promised. Sturm, who retired from Toyota about 6 months ago after a long career there that including VP-marketing of both the Lexus and Toyota brands, has landed. He joins Advanstar Communications, Inc. in the newly-created CMO position. The company offers integrated marketing solutions and oversees nearly 150 events annually, 60 publications and directories plus 233 electronic products.