Perry Boosted to Top U.S. Marketing Job at General Motors

Former Hyundai Exec Becomes Automaker's Fifth Marketing Chief in 18 Months

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DETROIT -- A month after taking over General Motors' global marketing, Joel Ewanick has named a new U.S. marketing chief and shuffled his leadership at other GM brands, Automotive News reports.

Chris Perry
Chris Perry
In the shift, Chris Perry, Chevrolet's marketing boss, will become VP-U.S. marketing overseeing the automaker's four U.S. brands. Mr. Ewanick held that same job until mid-December, when he became global chief marketing officer, a new position.

The changes take effect Feb. 1 and align Mr. Perry more closely with Mr. Ewanick, two executives credited with boosting Hyundai's image in the U.S. until their move to GM last year. In August, Mr. Ewanick plucked Mr. Perry, 50, to steer a campaign that seeks to exploit the deep ties between Chevy and U.S. buyers.

"These moves support our plans to continue building very clear and distinct swim lanes for our four brands," Mr. Ewanick said in the statement.

Mr. Ewanick, also 50, made these changes at GM's brands:

  • Rick Scheidt, 57, executive director of Chevrolet product marketing, will take over Mr. Perry's job of VP-Chevrolet marketing. He's been with GM since 1980, mostly in marketing positions at Chevy.

  • Tony DiSalle, 46, will become head of U.S. marketing for Buick. He has overseen marketing for the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt.

  • John Schwegman, 46, who was named VP-U.S. marketing for Buick and GMC in March, will remain head of GMC marketing.

Mr. Perry will be GM's fifth U.S. marketing chief in the last 18 months. Mr. Scheidt becomes the fifth marketing leader during that stretch for Chevy, GM's largest division.

The latest moves come as GM's four remaining brands are rebounding. Chevy's U.S. sales grew 17% last year while GMC was up 32%. Cadillac rose 35% and Buick jumped 52%. GM's total sales were up just 7% in an overall market that advanced 11%, reflecting the shedding of four brands.

Last month, under Mr. Perry's direction, Chevy launched a yearlong series of weekend test drives at dealerships dubbed "Mainstreet in Motion." Each event invites a few thousand would-be buyers to compare Chevy vehicles with Toyota, Ford, Honda and other brands.

Mr. Perry had been with Hyundai for 10 years before he was named the South Korean automaker's top U.S. marketing executive last March. He replaced Mr. Ewanick, who left that post for a brief stint at Nissan before joining GM in May.

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