Tim Mahoney, Chevrolet's new global marketing chief, knows something about putting spark into struggling brands and giving focus to confused marketing.
When he returned to Subaru of America in 2006 -- his second stint with the company -- he found a brand that had lost its way. Executives in Japan had upped sticker prices, aspiring to become the Japanese BMW. Marketing consisted of a mishmash of campaigns.
A quiet man with a wicked sense of humor, Mahoney and the team slashed prices and stopped using celebrities in Subaru's advertising. New ads concentrated on the brand -- mixed with a bit of goofiness. Subaru's market share has been surging ever since, and Mahoney became a hot commodity.
Now 56, he comes to General Motors after a two-year stint at high-flying Volkswagen of America. That was preceded by Subaru and a successful run at Porsche Cars North America.
At GM, Mahoney will be charged with unifying Chevy's splintered global marketing under the newly adopted "Find New Roads" campaign, which GM expects to underpin its largest brand for many years. GM also needs Mahoney to become a stabilizing force for a Chevy marketing enterprise that has been plagued by executive turnover and criticized as aimless.