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Phil Guarascio emerged from GM's management realignment with his VP stripe. But whether his real stature grows within the automaker depends on who's chosen as his new boss.

Some observers were surprised that GM didn't tap Mr. Guarascio, the flamboyant media guru, to replace J. Michael Losh as VP and group executive in charge of sales, service and marketing for North American Operations. However, others said it would have been too big a leap to promote Mr. Guarascio above divisional general man agers, who already held VP titles.

Mr. Guarascio remains general manager-marketing and advertising for North American Operations.

William Hoglund, the exec VP who has temporarily assumed Mr. Losh's old duties, said Mr. Guarascio's "expertise is primarily in advertising and communications," and GM is looking for someone with a stronger background in brand management.

"Phil has an immense job, responsible for $1.5 billion of advertising," Mr. Hoglund said.

"Phil has an important role to fill in the job that he has, and that was evidenced by making that job a corporate vice president," Mr. Losh said, now exec VP-chief financial officer.

Mr. Guarascio had been passed over before for VP but is said to have gotten assurances of the promotion before he rejected a lucrative offer to run Turner Broadcasting Sales (AA, March 21).

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