The 113-year-old brand recently took on 60 newcomers at its global Headquarters in New York City, where this week it will relocate from its temporary facility to a permanent spot in a 16-floor, century-old building in Lower Manhattan which overlooks the Hudson River. The top two floors of the building will house Cadillac. It will be the epicenter of the brand’s rebirth.
The two-story war room is mostly home to marketing and brand-strategy people, where the newcomers will be joined by an equal number of GM and Cadillac stalwarts. Don’t forget the thousands more that will aid their efforts from Detroit, notably, the engineers.
Many have left marketing posts at luxury manufacturers like BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz. While others arrived from the world of consumer-oriented luxury brands like Godiva, Belvedere vodka, and Ann Taylor, among others.
Why would those with cushy corporate jobs leave for a brand on the cusp of change? Quite simply, many are attracted by the chance to return the once-legendary American brand to greatness.
According to Automotive News, many describe their new opportunity at Cadillac as a start-up atmosphere–they’d rather work towards growing and reshaping a turnaround than maintain the status quo at other firmly established brands. They also firmly believe in the plan outlined by Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen and Marketing Chief Uwe Ellinghaus.
Matt Russell, a BMW enthusiast who helped launch Mini, described how he relishes the chance to mould brands into established players.
“I’ve never forgotten how exciting it was to go out and find growth,” he said. “BMW is slow and steady growth. I was at a point where I wanted to take some real risk.”
“To an extent we’re starting from scratch in the way we approach the brand,” noted Amana Knauer, a new brand strategy employee at Cadillac in the AN report. “It’s not just inheriting last year’s plan as a template. It’s looking at things with a fresh set of eyes.”
“We have enough car experts,” de Nysschen said in July. “ I wanted people to bring new ideas and perspective because we might have blind spots.”