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Another Hyundai exec jumps to GM

by Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Chris Perry was just named head of marketing for Hyundai last May, but he's already leaving to join General Motors and lead marketing for Chevrolet.

At Hyundai, Perry replaced Joel Ewanick who left the head marketing job there in March to go to Nissan. But within weeks Ewanick jumped to GM.

Together, Ewanick and Perry were credited with creating effective marketing programs, including the "Hyundai Assurance" program, that helped the South Korea-based automaker weather last year's brutal downturn in auto sales.

In his new position, Perry will report directly to Ewanick.

Perry will be the third head of marketing for the Chevrolet brand in less than a year. He will replace Jim Campbell who took over as general manager of the Chevrolet brand in December.

Campbell will become vice president for motorsports and performance vehicles at GM.

Ewanick may be hoping to recreate his Hyundai success at GM by putting people he's comfortable with into key roles, said Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of the auto Web site Edmunds.com.

When Ewanick first took the top marketing job at GM he quickly made changes in the ad agencies working on GM accounts, Anwyl noted, bringing in firms he had worked with at Hyundai.

These moves aren't surprising, Anwyl said, given the pressure Ewanick is under to perform.

"The expectations are extremely high," he said. "That's a tough bill to fill."

Chevrolet sales last month were up 12% compared to July, 2009, but that was a much smaller increase than at GM's three other continuing brands. Chevrolet is, by far, GM's biggest selling brand in the United States.

GM recently filed papers for an initial public offering of stock later this year, and also announced a planned changed in leadership. Current CEO Ed Whitacre will step down Sept. 1, to be replaced by GM board member Dan Akerson. To top of page

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