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Fisker Automotive names ex-GM marketing chief Ewanick to post

(Reuters) - Green-car startup Fisker Automotive named former General Motors Co and Hyundai Motor Co <005380.KS> marketing executive Joel Ewanick as interim chief commercial officer, Fisker said on Monday.

Ewanick was ousted as the global marketing chief at GM in July after serving in that position for a little more than two years.

Fisker recently hired Ewanick as a marketing consultant and he will remain a consultant even as he takes over as the chief commercial officer, a company spokesman said.

Ewanick will replace Richard Beattie, who is retiring.

Tony Posawatz, Fisker Automotive's chief executive, said "as we seek to appoint a long-term successor, there is no one better than Joel, with his wealth of motor industry experience and knowledge to guide us through this interim period. I am delighted to welcome him to the Fisker team."

When Ewanick left GM, the No.1 U.S. automaker said that Ewanick had "failed to meet the expectations that the company has for its employees."

People familiar with the situation said Ewanick was fired for not properly disclosing as much as a third of the cost of a $559 million sponsorship deal with English soccer club Manchester United, Reuters reported in early August.

Ewanick was credited by GM executives for raising consumer awareness of the automaker's four brands - Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC. At Hyundai, he led the Korean automaker's U.S. marketing efforts as its sales steadily climbed, before he went to GM.

Ewanick joins Fisker near the end of a year in which it has had multiple problems, including product quality and financial setbacks. In August, Fisker recalled 2,400 of its plug-in hybrid Karma, which sells for more than $100,000.

Fisker is developing a less expensive second model called the Atlantic.

(Reporting By Bernie Woodall)

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