DETROIT -- Beset by bad press and a skeptical Wall Street community, General Motors is bringing back its former public relations chief, Steve Harris.
Harris will resume his former job as vice president of global communications on Wednesday, Feb. 1. He replaces Tom Kowaleski, 54, who took that job after Harris retired in 2004. Kowaleski is leaving GM on March 1 to pursue other interests.
According to a company insider, senior GM executives have concluded that Kowaleski -- who is known for his product expertise -- is not well-suited to be GM's spokesman during its financial crisis.
Harris, 60, was widely acclaimed for his pr skills at GM and the Chrysler group. He will hold GM's top communications job for 18 months or so while GM grooms his successor.
In 1999, Kowaleski joined GM after 11 years at the Chrysler group. He has held his current job since January 2004. In that role, he was a member of the GM Automotive Strategy Board, Automotive Product Board, and North America Strategy Board and directed GM's corporate, product and brand, external, and internal communications around the world.
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