Before getting fired, GM's Ewanick got Farleyed
A few weeks before Joel Ewanick was ousted at General Motors, CEO Dan Akerson gave his global marketing chief a censure of sorts for a display of public profanity. Akerson forced Ewanick to carry a "Farley" award, named for Jim Farley, the Ford marketing chief who has let a bad word slip now and again.
Ewanick apparently veered over the line during a conference in Cannes, France, in June, sources told Bloomberg. At the conference, Jeff Goodby, who co-founded Chevrolet's advertising agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, joked that he would ask Ewanick about his position on Facebook, according to an article in Advertising Age. In May, Ewanick created a stir when he said GM would stop advertising on the social network and questioned its value.
"Motherf---er," Ewanick responded with laughter in Cannes, according to Advertising Age. "You're gonna pay for this s---."
The kidding continued between Ewanick and Goodby. Ewanick joked about giving business to another agency, according to the article.
Ewanick's sentence was to carry the Farley award, a mock-up of Ford's blue oval logo that has "Farley" instead of "Ford" in the center. Bloomberg says Akerson, a former U.S. Navy officer, enforced the parody award as a way to remind senior executives to maintain professionalism in private and in public.
Farley was quoted saying "f--- GM" in Once Upon a Car, the 2011 book about the U.S. auto bailout by New York Times reporter Bill Vlasic.