In a surprise move, Caddy's tapped a new marketer from Campbell-Ewald.
Steve Majoros, managing director at the Detroit-based agency, has been hired by General Motors to serve as director of global Cadillac marketing, Advertising Age sibling Automotive News reported Friday.
The move was initiated by Cadillac chief Bob Ferguson, who is expanding and shuffling his executive team in a bid to speed up the luxury brand's international growth. Mr. Majoros, 47, has been tapped to take on many of the duties previously handled by Don Butler, head of Cadillac's U.S. marketing since March 2010. But in addition, Mr. Majoros will take on global responsibilities. has been reassigned as vice president of global strategic development for Cadillac, a newly created position. Both Messrs. Ferguson and Majoros will report to Mr. Ferguson.
It's an odd time for a shakeup, considering Cadillac is smack-dab in the middle of an agency review. Stranger still is that Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Ewald had early on been tipped to win Cadillac business from GM. But shortly after those rumors circulated in Detroit, a formal pitch was called.
As Ad Age has reported, there are agencies from three holding companies competing in the review: Interpublic, Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe. Within that field, shops that are part of the process include Campbell-Ewald, incumbent Fallon, DDB, Digitas, Publicis Hal Riney and Hill Holliday. The latter's chief creative officer, Lance Jensen, was a former partner at Modernista where he helped take the Cadillac brand from stodgy to sexy with music heavy campaigns starring celebrities such as Kate Walsh.
The agencies are gathering next week in Las Vegas for a Cadillac dealer event, according to executives familiar with the matter.
A Cadillac spokesman declined to comment on the selection process or whether Mr. Majoros' hiring will affect Campbell-Ewald's chances of landing the account. But a GM spokesman insisted in an email: "The changes have no impact on the agency review."
Mr. Majoros was integral in Campbell-Ewald's creative work for Chevrolet before the agency lost the Chevy account in 2010. He played a big role in Chevy's "Like a Rock" and "American Revolution" campaigns and in dealership association advertising, according to Campbell-Ewald's Web site.
In his new job he will be tasked to "ensure tight coordination between Cadillac's marketing, advertising and sales field teams," GM said in a statement.
Mr. Akerson has deemed Cadillac one of GM's two global brands, along with Chevrolet, despite the luxury marque's relatively small presence in markets such as China and Europe.
Mr. Ferguson has set ambitious growth targets for Cadillac. Last month, he said he expects U.S. sales to grow by more than one-third this year, from the 149,782 units Cadillac sold in 2012. GM also wants to triple Cadillac's China sales within three years, from a base of about 30,000 units last year.
"Cadillac is continuing to expand in our home market and globally, which demands that we continually enhance our team's focus and capabilities," Mr. Ferguson said in a statement. He lauded Butler's "international experience and deep product knowledge."
Contributing: Rupal Parekh, Michael McCarthy