DETROIT -- A decade ago, Mark LaNeve was general manager of a beleaguered brand called Cadillac, working hard on its rebirth. These days LaNeve is across town working on the rebirth of the brand that was once Cadillac's great American rival but has recently fallen on hard times itself: Lincoln.
But this time, LaNeve is working from the outside. In April, he became head of Hudson Rouge, Lincoln's New York ad agency. He's also the globetrotting COO of Global Team Ford, an umbrella group that includes Ford's global ad agencies, including Team Detroit, owned by WPP Group of England.
LaNeve knows Lincoln faces a steep climb. The brand has been struggling to regain its footing after years of neglect. Its market share has declined steadily, to 0.6 percent in 2012, behind Infiniti and ahead of Scion, with sales of just 82,150.
"We've got high aspirations for the Lincoln brand. We're not in any way naive to how big a challenge it's going to be," LaNeve says.