GM ups Snyder to number two

DETROIT: General Motors has taken more than two months to fill a key number-two position in its communications staff, but the search ended last week when Edd Snyder was promoted to the role of executive director, corporate communications.

DETROIT: General Motors has taken more than two months to fill a key number-two position in its communications staff, but the search ended last week when Edd Snyder was promoted to the role of executive director, corporate communications.

DETROIT: General Motors has taken more than two months to fill a key number-two position in its communications staff, but the search ended last week when Edd Snyder was promoted to the role of executive director, corporate communications.

Snyder, a popular and highly respected 25-year PR veteran who was hired by the world's largest automaker only last year, was previously GM's director of communications for labor, manufacturing and community relations.

Now he'll oversee news relations and communications for manufacturing, labor, financial, e-GM, international operations, Washington public policy, electronic media, legal, diversity, philanthropy, non-automotive operations, the enterprise activities group, worldwide purchasing and human resources. Ten employees will report directly to him.

'Edd brings a wealth of experience in labor and community relations to our team,' said Steve Harris, GM's VP communications. 'He's a skilled communicator whose contributions are greatly valued by GM and his colleagues.'

Snyder has one the most varied backgrounds in the automotive PR community.

He previously held PR slots at Upjohn Pharmaceutical, Ford, American Motors, Toyota, Shandwick USA and EDS. Uniquely for a PR exec, he also was co-owner, president and general manager of a Toyota dealership in Delaware, OH, and was partner with his brother in fast-food restaurants.

Snyder first worked with Harris at American Motors PR in the mid-1980s, where a professional relationship and a friendship blossomed. When Harris was hired away from Chrysler early in 1999, one of his first personnel moves was to lure Snyder to GM from his post as regional PR manager for EDS, formerly connected to GM and still a major computer-services supplier to the automaker.

Snyder replaces Tony Cervone, another of Harris' early recruits to GM, who returned in August to DaimlerChrysler as VP of communications for North America after just 18 months in the GM role.

In the new post, Snyder will share the second-in-command honors with Tom Kowaleski, GM executive director for product and brand communications. Kowaleski is a former Chrysler PR exec.

While the auto industry as a whole has suffered recently from an almost debilitating number of crises, recent research by CARMA (PRWeek, September 18) showed that GM's reputation was thriving. It has been praised for its handling of the difficult climate, exemplified by initiatives such as appointing a specific spokesperson, vice chairman Harry Pearce, to become more vocal about SUVs and fuel efficiency of light trucks.





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