CEO Dan Akerson stands up for new General Motors

There aren’t many CEOs who could front an ad for their company without the aid of an interviewer or tricksy effects but GM’s new CEO Dan Akerson makes a pretty good fist of it in this film.

Akerson, a former executive at Carlyle and Nextel, is the man who unleashed marketing supremo Joel Ewanick on an unsuspecting world (including a number of agencies like the UK’s BBH who are still massaging their wounds).

Ewanick is now off to market GM around the world, appointing former Hyundai colleague Chris Perry as his replacement in North America.

The really interesting new appointment though is former HR chief and GM veteran Mary Barra as head of global product development. The very notion of a woman in such a post at an American car giant would have been anathema just a few years ago.

With the car world going electric (not least the new Chevrolet Volt) this is a hugely important role.

And she’s joined in the top banana line-up by Akerson’s former colleague at Nextel Linda Marshall who’s to head GM’s OnStar in-car products, hitherto a disaster area for the company.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.