More shakeup at GM. Chevy chief Dewar out.

Posted by: David Welch on December 9, 2009

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Here goes the merry-go-round. Two more executives are heading out at General Motors. Chevrolet General Manager W.W. Brent Dewar is quitting his job, the company said. He will be replaced by longtime Chevy hand James Campbell. Separately, a management source said that Buick-GMC general manager Michael Richards is out. What does it all mean? For starters, GM better start doing some hiring, and fast. With the CEO out, the CFO soon to be replaced and one brand manager job open, GM needs to start stabilizing its management ranks. This is a pivotal point for a company that is launching new models and trying to patch up tattered brands.

With Dewar, GM loses a controversial figure within the company. Some GM managers thought he was intimidating and arrogant. Others thought he was brilliant. But he always exceeded objectives, according to one executive who oversaw Dewar’s work. To his credit, Dewar was giving other advertising agencies a crack at Chevy ad work. GM’s vitally important brand has relied on Campbell Ewald for decades. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz started bidding out the ad work, but Dewar played a key role in picking agencies for Chevy. That will fall in part on Campbell.

A source close to Dewar says that he was tight with Henderson and was dismayed at his firing. The two worked together in Brazil. Dewar did not return a phone call and an email.

In any case, Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre has already shifted executives around and more moves are coming. Even if Whitacre finds a CEO to replace Fritz Henderson—who was ousted as CEO last week, within the next six months—there are still a few key jobs to fill. His selections will be important, and closely watched.

Reader Comments

Flea

December 9, 2009 7:50 PM

I hope they all quit. They ruined that company. Good riddance. The last GM car I bought was in 1992. Never even considered buying one since. What a shame. My entire faimly use to buy nothing but GM. What a bunch of bums.

Dan Dunne

December 10, 2009 12:40 AM

Chevy has a Great Spokesman in Howie Long...Someone was using the college....The Solution to GM's Problem is simple GO BACK TO BASICS...GET Rid of all the BEAN COUNTERS.....Good Designs Sells Cars,, Great Marketing Helps.. Mostly stop depending on the Internet....When you give the customer everything on the Internet, There is no reason for them to Visit a SHOWROOM....Drive more customers into showrooms...Keep Feeding Howie Good things to say.... (Ive been on the front line selling GM Cars and Trucks for 30 Years, Get the customer into the showroom and we'll Sell them...

m.r.

December 10, 2009 4:31 AM

GM top execs better start improving product line to increase sales and profit! backroom shuffling and cute ads will not solve all their problems. also, GM needs a diet to regain former status. time is running out.

Ballbuster

December 10, 2009 6:43 AM

There should be no shedding of tears for the departure of these inept GM managers. It is they and several others who destroyed the once mighty GM, the symbol of American automotive power, driving it off the bankrupt abyss. Had the old GM had a more active Board of Directors and competent CEO, imposters such as Dewar, Richards, Henderson, Lutz, Wellburn, and Docherty would have been terminated long ago. Had taxpayer not bailout Government Motors, any rescue by a private equity would have resulted in the purging of these same old guards of incompetence. For these imposters their phony gig is up. They should be happy their removal does not require paying financial restitution to share holders and taxpayers.

Nick

December 10, 2009 2:10 PM

Oh look. Yet another long-time GM manager being promoted. Mr. Whitacre should be using these opportunities to bring new blood into GM management, not simply promote long-termers. He's already heading down the same road that got GM in trouble in the first place, as well as cost Henderson his job after only a few months.

BubbaJim

December 10, 2009 4:57 PM

Howie Long is a dufi. He looks lost in the commercials. Whitacre is a monoly nerd. Knows nothing about SELLING!

inside

December 11, 2009 11:44 AM

There was never a gaurantee that the GM bailout would work. So far it hasn't. I would exercise caution in deciding to buy your next new vehicle.

Barry Stokes

December 12, 2009 10:09 AM

Throw the bums out. They ruined the company. No mercy.

Mary Dunn

January 29, 2010 8:14 AM

The company is run by a bunch of arrogant creeps. Ed Whitacre is head creep, much too busy to answer a complaint. He hands it off to a lower man on the totum pole to give you a stupid reason why your rear window adhesion on a convertible lets loose and the only cure is a whole new top at the cool price of $1850. Some Leader, right? Won't look into the cure, Keep up the great work Ed. GM should go bankrupt because they sure don't deserve our trust and money.

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Want the straight scoop on the auto industry? Our man in Detroit David Welch, brings keen observations and provocative perspective on the auto business.

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