DMM: Larry Lozon

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Larry Lozon was a natural to steer General Motors Cyberworks, formed in April 1996 by Interpublic Group of Cos., which has several GM agencies, as a new-media unit dedicated to the carmaker.

At the time, Mr. Lozon was VP-Internet and new media at General Motors Corp.'s former subsidiary Electronic Data Systems near Dallas. There, he launched EDS' Internet business in 1994.

Vital stats:
Title: VP-director of General Motors Cyberworks, Warren, Mich.
Age/bio: 37, born in Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada; he moved to the U.S. in 1973.
Career
highlights:
Cooperative education employee of the Buick Motor Division while studying at General Motors Institute and the University of Michigan, 1979-83; assistant financial analyst at GM Finance, 1983-85; account manager, EDS/GM Powertrain Group, 1985-86; director of EDS/GM Office Technology Assessment Program, 1987-88; various positions, ending up as VP-Internet and new media at EDS, 1989-96; current post, 1996-.

Now as VP-director of Cyberworks, part of Mr. Lozon's job is to instruct GM's brand managers, brand teams and ad agencies on emerging media technologies. He oversees GM's year-old Media Lab, a large room with different areas mimicking a living room, park and dealer showroom. Each area contains the newest consumer toys, Web and PC TVs in the living room area, and cell phones and pagers in the park.

"Consumers have new access to new technologies and new ways to communicate with us," he said. "We're taking a deep involvement in consumer technologies."

Cyberworks' lab is linked to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, which GM sponsors to expand its research.

Mr. Lozon led the development of GM's own ad server and Net audience measurement system, dubbed GM Adcount.

He maintained GM was the first carmaker to launch an extension of its Web site (www.gm.com) to all of its dealers, in summer 1996, as well as the first to launch a car online, its Buick Regal, via a live event in late 1996.

The automaker was the leading advertiser for @Home Network's launch in January 1997, with full-motion video on banner ads. GM is still working with @Home. Last September, GM was an advertiser on WebTV, allowing viewers to link to one of GM's car divisions during a TV commercial.

"The industry is innovating on an almost daily basis," he said. "We have to have a system so our brand teams can be exposed to what's new."

The world, he added, will be seeing what GM's brand managers have learned down the road as new technologies emerge.

Betcha didn't know: Mr. Lozon still "commutes" on the weekend to his home in Richardson, Texas, (near Dallas), from an apartment on Lake St. Claire in one of Detroit's suburbs.

Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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