Reports in US newspapers suggest he was forced to leave after failing to reveal full financial details of the company’s five-year sponsorship deal between Chevrolet and Manchester United, which was agreed in May this year.
A General Motors spokesman told those papers Ewanick “failed to meet expectations the company has for its employees”. Marketing Week could not reach General Motors spokespeople at the time this article went to press.
Ewanick himself appeared to confirm the reports on Twitter, by retweeting an article referring to his being ousted. He also tweeted after news first emerged of his departure last night (29 July), saying: “It has been a privilege & honor to work with the GM team and to be a small part of Detroit’s turnaround. I wish everyone at GM all the best.”
Alan Batey, head of US sales and service, will replace Ewanick on an interim basis.
Ewanick was appointed to turnaround General Motors’ marketing strategy in 2010 and was responsible for the company’s $4.5bn (£2.9bn) global advertising budget. Ewanick also led a reorganisation of the company’s marketing operations, which included a consolidation programme across its advertising and marketing divisions and awarding its $1bn Chevrolet advertising account to a 50/50 joint venture between Omnicom and Interpublic Group.
He was understood to be behind General Motors’ controversial decision to pull all paid-for advertising on Facebook, which was revealed just week’s before the social network’s IPO.
Ewanick also announced recently the company will not be advertising during next year’s Super Bowl.
He joined General Motors from Nissan North America, where he held the role of senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Prior to that, Ewanick served as vice president of marketing at Hyundai America.