Controversial GM Marketing Chief Quits
CNBC Auto and Airline Industry Reporter
Joel Ewanick, the outspoken Chief Marketing Officer of General Motors, has resigned from the auto maker effective immediately.
Ewanick's departure is a surprise ending to a two year tenure where Ewanick made as much news as GM's change in marketing. In an official statement, GM said, "Joel failed to meet the expectations the company has of its employees." When asked to expand on how Ewanick failed, a spokesperson for General Motors declined to elaborate.
Ewanick leaves GM less than two years after he was promoted to the position of Global Chief Marketing Officer. During his tenure he ruffled feathers inside and outside of GM for making bold moves and comments.
Most notably, earlier this year when Ewanick said GM would pull $10 million in advertising from Facebook because the auto maker questioned the effectiveness of direct ads on the social network. The decision to announce pulling ads just days before the Facebook IPO baffled many people. Ewanick later said the comments were not meant to send a message to Facebook investors or to hurt the company's IPO.
GM executives say Ewanick's departure is not related to any of the controversy surrounding the Facebook advertising decision of comments.
Ewanick is replaced on an interim basis by Alan Batey, GM's current V.P. Of U.S. Sales. When GM hired Ewanick away from Hyundai two years ago it was considered a coup. Now, the man brought in to shake up how GM presents itself is the latest executive to leave the company.
By CNBC's Phil LeBeau