Hyundai Motor America CMO Dean Evans has resigned from the position and a search for his replacement is beginning immediately, according to the automaker.
Evans, 51, has been with the company for just over four years. He is leaving effective today “to pursue other career opportunities,” according to a statement issued by the automaker.
“Hyundai is greatly appreciative to Dean for his contributions, where together we’ve become a leader in automotive marketing with many innovative and award-winning programs,” according to the statement. “Under his guidance we’ve consistently produced some of the best and most memorable Super Bowl advertising and have modernized our digital marketing and lead generation activities. He was also instrumental in defining our ‘Better Drives Us’ brand promise and helped introduce our commitment to improve the shopping and buying experience.”
Brian Smith, Hyundai’s chief operating officer and a former Toyota executive who served as the vice president of marketing for Lexus, will lead the Hyundai marketing team while a search for a permanent replacement is conducted. The automaker uses an in-house advertising agency, Innocean Worldwide.
Evans joined the company in August 2015 after a nine-month run without a CMO. Before Hyundai, he spent four years as Subaru of America’s CMO before leaving in 2014 to become CEO of a software company, LotLinx.
Previous to Subaru, he was CMO of Dealer.com, and vice president of marketing of Dealix.com. He began his career as a Pontiac sales consultant in Boulder, Colo. and spent time as a general manager at a metro Chrysler dealership, as well as at Land Rover.
Evans was selected last year as one of the World's Most Influential CMOs by Forbes. Evans ranked No. 8 and is the highest-ranking CMO from a global automaker in the 2018 report, developed by Forbes in partnership with Sprinklr and LinkedIn. Evans has made multiple appearances on the list, improving upon 2017's No. 29 ranking.
In 2018, Evans and his team launched Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance program nationwide. The campaign has helped differentiate the shopping experience by showing a commitment to respecting a consumer’s time, aiming to be transparent and provide a worry-free shopping and buying experience.
“Hyundai is a company on an upward trajectory, with sales growth that outpaces the industry, a revamped lineup with exciting products on the way and significant investments in new technologies as the auto industry faces its next evolution,” according to the automaker. “We are confident we will find a dynamic marketing leader who will continue to be innovative in how we reach consumers and communicate about our brand and products.”
Evans did not respond to a request for comment.