Ford hires former Allstate marketing chief as sales falter

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DEARBORN, Mich. — The man behind those Allstate Insurance “mayhem” television ads has been picked to lead marketing at Ford Motor Co.

Mark LaNeve, a former marketing chief at General Motors, will start the new job on Feb. 1. He’ll try to reverse Ford’s declining sales.

The 55-year-old LaNeve replaces John Felice, who is retiring after 30 years with Ford. LaNeve will be vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service.

Ford’s U.S. sales fell just under 1 percent last year even though the market grew by nearly 6 percent. The company lost almost a full percentage point of market share.

From 2009 until 2012, LaNeve led marketing at Allstate. He launched the popular “mayhem” campaign that features an actor who causes car crashes, fires, and other insurance disasters.

LaNeve left Allstate early in 2012 and later that year joined Global Team Ford, the company’s advertising agency. He was named chief operating officer for the agency in August of 2012.

Before Allstate, LaNeve was at General Motors, where he led corporate sales and marketing from 2005 to October of 2009. He also headed the Cadillac brand and once served as North American CEO for Volvo Cars.

“He will be focused on continuing to grow the business by building the Ford brand with innovative new digital communications and transforming the retail experience for customers,” Ford said in a statement.

Ford’s sales fell last year largely because it closed pickup-truck plants to switch production to the new aluminum-clad F-150.

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