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GM’s Global Marketing Chief Leaves Abruptly

Sources say departure tied to Manchester United sponsorship deal


General Motors’ (NYSE:GM) head of global marketing is out after just two years at the car maker.

The auto giant announced on Sunday that Joel Ewanick had abruptly left the company, saying that he “failed to meet the expectations” GM sets for its employees. A GM spokesperson would not provide more specific reasons for Ewanick’s sudden departure.

Rent Out Your GM Car Through OnStar
Rent Out Your GM Car Through OnStar

Unnamed sources, however, told Reuters that Ewanick was ousted after GM learned that he did not fully disclose financial details related to Chevrolet’s sponsorship of Manchester United, the popular U.K. soccer team, announced back in May.

Ewanick declined to address the claims. The prior head of Nissan‘s (PINK:NSANY) North American marketing effort and vice president of marketing at Hyundai (PINK:HYMTF), Ewanick was hired by GM in 2010.

His tenure at GM was marked by moves that generated buzz in marketing circles. Ewanick said that GM would not run ads during next year’s Super Bowl. He also shut down GM’s Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) advertising effort, though sources say the two companies have recently been talking about resuming the ads.

GM announced that Alan Batey, current head of U.S. sales, will serve as global marketing head until a replacement for Ewanick can be found.

Shares of GM slipped fractionally in early Monday trading.

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