Tuesday's Breakfast Briefing: GM searches for comms chief; Lawmakers question e-cigarette marketing

Everything you need to know to start your day.

Barra could put stamp on GM with comms chief hire
One way General Motors CEO Mary Barra could make her mark on the embattled automaker is through her choice of a replacement for Selim Bingol, SVP for corporate communications and public policy, who stepped down on Monday. Barra, who has been in GM’s top job for three months, also named an HR leader on Monday. David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research, told Bloomberg BusinessWeek: "HR has become a position that is very strategic because of talent issues in the industry, and communications because of the complexity of the industry."

E-cigarette makers targeting children
Top Democratic lawmakers are trying to ban e-cigarette makers from marketing their products to children and young adults. They released a report on Monday that said e-cigarette companies use social media and free samples at events to get teenagers to try their products. Those tactics would be illegal for the makers of traditional cigarettes, they noted.

Samsung CMO credits marketing for sales boost, not Apple
Samsung’s CMO testified yesterday that the company’s marketing plans were the reason it shot to the number one spot in terms of mobile handsets sold, not copying Apple’s products. Apple is seeking $2 billion in damages from Samsung for what it says are patent violations, while Samsung contends Apple violated copyrights of its own.

GE’s Immelt may step down early
After 13 years running General Electric, CEO Jeff Immelt may step down before the end of his expected 20-year tenure, as the company considers whether two decades is too long for one person to stay in its top role. GE is also set to begin early stage planning for Immelt’s successor.

Brands make the most of tax day
Tuesday is the final day to file income taxes, and to celebrate - or to take advantage of consumers’ stress-relief needs - brands are offering a range of specials. Arby’s, Sonic, and Pizza Hut are among the fast-food chains offering free or discounted meal items.

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