General Motors has re-tapped public relations expert Tony Cervone as it deals with the current recall crisis that is haunting it. Cervone – who was known for being one of the carmaker’s top spokesmen as it collapsed toward bankruptcy -- is now GM’s senior vice president for global communications.
He succeeded Selim Bingol, who exited GM in April. Cervone exited GM in early 2009 for a stint at UAL Corp. Prior to rejoining GM, Cervone was executive vice president for corporate communications at Volkswagen Group of America.
He told Automotive News in an interview that he jumped at the opportunity to take on role he dubbed as the “preeminent automotive communications job in the industry.” He remarked that while knows some of the current executives from his previous stint at GM, he noted the presence of some “new blood” within the company.
He added that being part of a team that helps rebuild GM’S reputation as an American icon is “really exciting.” Re-tapping Cervone allowed GM to add an executive that understands the company and yet has the perspective of an outsider.
In a statement, GM chief executive Barra said Cervone brings an “ideal mix of outside perspective and experience” that balances a deep background in GM and the current auto industry.
With his re-hiring, Cervone has reunited with mentor Steve Harris, whom GM has tapped as a consultant on public relations. Cervone and Harris worked together at Chrysler in the 1990s when it staved off a hostile takeover bid from Kirk Kerkorian.
Harris departed from Chrysler and was tapped as GM’s chief spokesman. He then recruited Cervone in 2000. [source: GM]