GM's Mark LaNeve Set to Become Allstate's Chief Marketer

Automaker's Former Marketing Head Will Take Over Post From Acting CMO Joan Walker

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Mark LaNeve, General Motors Corp.'s former top marketer, is preparing to join Allstate Insurance as chief marketing officer, according to two executives close to the situation.

Mark LaNeve
Mark LaNeve
Mr. LaNeve, who was bumped to VP-sales at GM from VP-sales, service and marketing North America when Vice Chairman Bob Lutz assumed control over marketing in July, officially leaves the automaker Oct. 15.

The 50-year-old GM veteran, who is on his second tour of duty at the automaker after several years as a Volvo executive, will succeed Joan Walker at Allstate, who had been acting CMO since Joe Tripodi jumped ship in July 2007 for the same job at Coca-Cola.

An Allstate spokesman declined to confirm the appointment, saying only that there is an active search under way for a CMO. An announcement is expected Monday from the Chicago-based marketer.

Mr. LaNeve declined to comment.

There's a link between Allstate and GM: Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett, USA, handles the insurer as well as GM's Buick and GMC brands.

The former All-American linebacker at the University of Virginia is likely to appreciate Allstate's advertising tied to college football. Burnett, Chicago, created the offbeat Bergwood, a college-football-crazed character in fall 2006. Allstate's newest multimedia campaign using Bergwood broke last month and aims to recruit college-football fans to increase the points for a safety from two to eight points.

Mr. LaNeve will have his work cut out for him at Allstate. The insurer was recently ranked "about average" by customers earlier this month in consultant J.D. Powers and Associates' annual National Homeowners Insurance Study of 27 companies.

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