When Joel Ewanick was asked to immediately resign, a lot of questions went unanswered. Almost immediately, the media at large suspected the $559 million Chevrolet-Manchester United sponsorship deal — the most expensive in the history of soccer – to be the bulk of the reason, while lost market share was another. And while GM CEO Dan Akerson describes the marketing move as a “team effort”, there still seemed to have been a lack of transparency.
According to the latest report from Bloomberg, a whistle-blower led to the former chief marketing officer’s downfall:
GM’s CEO would no longer protect his marketing head after a whistle-blower stepped forward and the Detroit-based company determined Ewanick was spreading the price of the agreement with English soccer team Manchester United (MANU) among several different marketing budgets to avoid his boss’s spending limits, the people said. When confronted, Ewanick denied it, they said.
While that happened, it still doesn’t mean that Ewanick was pocketing anything personally, though the investigation continues.