General Motors Elevates Cadillac CMO To Global Marketing Chief

General Motors has elevated Deborah Wahl, the head of Cadillac marketing, to global marketing chief, a position empty since March.

She will report to Barry Engle, GM's president of the Americas.

Melissa Grady, director of Cadillac media and performance marketing since September 2018, will replace Wahl as Cadillac’s CMO, said General Motors CEO Mary Barra in an internal memo to GM employees.

"This move will help us continue the transformation of our marketing organization while leveraging the team’s expertise," according to the memo. "By aligning marketing across GM under Deborah’s leadership, we will build stronger brands while ensuring more effective, efficient and agile customer engagement."

Travis Hester was also promoted -- to vice president of customer experience, a new global position. Hester will have the end-to-end responsibility for maximizing all aspects of customer engagement across the organization.



“We have great opportunity to take our customer experiences to world-class levels under Travis’ direction,” Barra said. “We have made tangible progress in many areas, but now we must accelerate our efforts.”

Wahl, 56, took over as CMO for Cadillac in March 2018. At that time she was charged with "redefining Cadillac’s reputation and repositioning it for the future," Barra said.

Wahl was CMO at McDonald’s USA before joining Cadillac. She had previously spent more than a decade in the auto industry, at Chrysler, Lexus, Toyota, Lincoln-Mercury, Mazda and Ford of Brazil. 

Chevrolet's marketing boss, Tim Mahoney, who retired March 1, was leader of GM's global marketing operations. GM technically hasn't had a chief marketing officer since Joel Ewanick in 2012.

The marketing leaders at Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, OnStar, CCA and GM Financial will report to both Wahl and the leader of their respective business unit, according to the memo.

1 comment about "General Motors Elevates Cadillac CMO To Global Marketing Chief".
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  1. Ronald Kurtz from American Affluence Research Center, September 6, 2019 at 11:40 a.m.

    Don't understand why companies can't maintain simple organizations with clear responsibilty and accountability for each position. Now the "marketing leaders" of each brand will report to both the leader of their business unit and to Wahl, who seems to have worked for many different companies over a relatively short period of time. 

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