Last week, we reported that Buick-GMC was left without a general manager, since newly-hired Michael Richards resigned to reportedly pursue other opportunities (we’ve got the new scoop about that below). This week, GM put Brian. K. Sweeney in charge of the two brands. In his previous post, Sweeney served as general sales manager of Buick-GMC (since June 2008).
Susan Docherty, GM vice president of Sales, Service, and Marketing, had the following to say about the new appointment:
Brian has played a pivotal role in strengthening the Buick and GMC brands through his work with our dealers and marketing activities. He consolidated 13 different agencies to one dedicated partner to drive a consistent brand message, led the dealer network through a difficult transition and has earned a reputation for tirelessly driving results that benefit consumers.
Sweeney, 42, joined GM in 1990 as a district sales manager for GMC and has since then held numerous marketing leadership positions, including regional management positions in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Detroit. He has dedicated most of his career to Buick, Pontiac, and GMC, but also has experience at Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Saab (which is about to cease existing).
Docherty also named Jennifer Constable to Sweeney’s old post as general sales manager of Buick-GMC. Constable, 47, was regional sales and marketing manager of Cadillac in GM’s Southeast Region since November 2008. She will report to Sweeney.
Constable has been with GM for 25 years and has spent her career mostly in the field, working with dealers across the country – focusing on sales, service, and parts, improving dealer relations, productivity and marketing effectiveness, and developing the overall dealer network.
All changes are effective immediately.
The GM Authority Take
At the present time, we don’t know more than the press release gives off about either Sweeney or Constable. We don’t know if Sweeney is much of a car guy, but having been in marketing, he may figure out for himself that Buick needs to go in a different direction than Cadillac and that GMC needs to stop diluting its brand. Constable seems to be a good fit, having spent most of her time in the field with dealers. You get to know the sales side of things pretty fast that way.
And about the 9-day-exec, aka Michael Richards: some little birdies have been telling us that the reason for his lighting-fast departure was actually a screw-up on GM’s part: he previously worked at Ford, where his style proved to be ineffective and outrageous. We wonder how his name even got past the reference check process with GM in the first place!