Cervone boomerangs back to GM, reunites with Harris

DETROIT: Tony Cervone, one of the top names in Detroit's automotive

circles, has yo-yoed back to General Motors for a third stint, after

leaving Chrysler for the second time.



Cervone, 38, has been appointed GM's executive director of executive

communications. The new position reunites him with Steve Harris,

currently GM's VP of communications, for whom Cervone has worked several

times, first at Chrysler and later at GM.



Cervone had been VP of communications at Chrysler until last November,

when he lost his job after just two months as part of a German routing

of US executives.



Cervone's first appearance at GM came two years ago when he followed

Harris there. As GM's VP of communications, Harris had appointed Cervone

executive director of corporate communications.



Cervone now joins three other executive directors reporting to Harris:

Bill O'Neill for communications operations, Edd Snyder for corporate

communications and Tom Kowaleski for product/brand communications.



In his new position, Cervone will oversee the communications and media

relations needs of GM's top officers, including chairman Jack Smith,

president and CEO Rick Wagoner, vice chairman Harry Pearce, and vice

chairman and CFO John Devine. He also will oversee financial and

corporate international communications, the corporate speechwriting

office and team with Gary Grates - who heads GM's internal

communications - on leadership communications.



Reporting to Cervone will be Tom Pyden, staff director of corporate

communications and editorial services, and New York-based Toni

Simonetti, staff director of financial and international communications.

Brian Akre, director of executive communications and news relations will

report to both Cervone and Snyder.



'We are pleased to have Tony back at GM, where his media and leadership

communications skills, and extensive knowledge of the industry will add

to an already strong team,' said Harris.



From what Harris told PRWeek after Cervone's most recent departure from

Chrysler, his return to GM was almost preordained: 'I'd take him back in

a minute,' he said.



WHO'S IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT?



FEBRUARY 1999: GM hires Steve Harris from Chrysler as VP of

communications. DaimlerChrysler promotes Steven Rossi from Mercedes Benz

North America to replace Harris



MARCH 1999: Tony Cervone and Tom Kowaleski move from Chrysler PR to

GM



SEPTEMBER 2000: Rossi resigns from DaimlerChrysler and Cervone returns

to Chrysler as VP of communications



OCTOBER 2000: Edd Snyder is promoted to executive director of corporate

communications at GM, replacing Cervone



NOVEMBER 2000: Cervone is axed at Chrysler in routing of US executives

by German DaimlerChyrsler management. Ken Levy, a former European Ford

and GM PR executive, is hired as VP at Chrysler, replacing Cervone



MARCH 2001: Cervone returns to GM as executive director of executive

communications.



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