GM revamp gives Middlebrook wider role in marketing

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General Motors Corp., Detroit, said it will restructure its North American Operations Vehicle Sales, Service & Marketing Group. Replacing its five current vehicle divisions will be six "nameplate divisions with responsibilities geared toward marketing and advertising" and a single sales, service and parts field force that will service five new multibrand geographic regions. The changes had been expected.

As part of the change, GM is eliminating the general manager post at each of the five existing vehicle divisions (Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Oldsmobile and Pontiac-GMC). That job included responsibility for sales and service as well as marketing.

In the new structure, marketing responsibilities shift to six new marketing general managers (for Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and GMC). They will report to John Middlebrook, 57, who was named to the new post of VP-general manager of vehicle brand marketing, from general manager of the Chevrolet Division. GM's Saturn division is not affected.

The general managers of the five new multi-brand field regions will report to Roy Roberts, 59, named to the new post of VP-general manager for field sales, service and parts, from Pontiac-GMC general manager. It said the changes will eliminate three layers of management from the field organizations of each of the five divisions.

GM VP-general manager, marketing and advertising for North American Operations Phil Guarascio will continue to report to Ronald. L. Zarella, GM VP-group executive for North American vehicle sales, service and marketing. GM expects the changes to be in effect by year end.

Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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