Tony Cervone, who has just been brought on as General Motors’ SVP of global communications, has had an on-again, off-again relationship with the company since 1999.
In a 2009 interview with PRWeek, shortly after Cervone had left GM for a second time to serve as CCO and SVP of corporate communications at airline holding company UAL Corporation, parent of United Airlines, he said he was not "running away from what was going on at GM."
"Having more industry experience under my belt [was] always something that had nagged at me," Cervone said.
On Monday, Cervone rejoined GM as the automaker continues to respond to a crisis caused by a decade-long delay in recalling Chevrolet Cobalts with malfunctioning ignition switches. He is reporting to GM CEO Mary Barra.
During his auto-industry tenure, Cervone assisted with the 2007 United Auto Workers agreement, oversaw daily communications concerning the credit crunch of 2009, and helped shape Chrysler's cutting-edge comms strategies in the mid-1990s.
He previously told PRWeek that he was proud of the degree of internal and external transparency he helped institute at GM.
"The element of spin is outdated," Cervone said. "It's about articulating who you are and what strengths you have: allowing people to come to a conclusion as to whether they agree or disagree."
He added that when a company is coming out of turmoil, his goal is to "loosen them up a bit."
Cervone’s career timeline:
Volkswagen Group of America’s EVP, group communications
UAL Corporation’s SVP, CCO
General Motors’ VP, global communications strategy and operations
General Motors’ VP communications for GM Europe, Zurich, and Switzerland
General Motors’ executive director, executive and corporate communications
Daimler Chrysler’s VP communications, Chrysler Group
General Motors’ general director, corporate communications
DaimlerChrysler’s director, internal communications from 1997 to 1999; manager, product and technology communications from 1995 to 1997; and various executive and non-executive positions from 1985 to 1995