Goodby’s man on the inside is now on the outs.
According to The Wall Street Journal, General Motors Co.’s ousted its global marketing chief, Joel Ewanick at the end of last week. Ewanick, 52, was head of one of the largest advertising budgets in the U.S. ($4.5 billion/year) and a key player in the company’s restructuring efforts.
Mr. Ewanick, in a recent interview, acknowledged that his style can be polarizing.
“One of my jobs is to make sure people don’t relax, to keep the tension high,” he said in an interview. “I don’t mean to hurt people, but everything matters now and we have to be great.”
Advertising executives said he often ruffles ad shops with harsh critiques and demands for last-minute changes.
I have never met the man, but his line, “I don’t mean to hurt people, but…” is intolerable. Too many people in this business think that “the work” is more important than treating people well. It isn’t. And when you lose touch with what actually makes the world go around — your ability to relate well to other people — you’re truly out there all alone, just you and your outsized ego.