Hyundai Motor America appointed Genesis executive Megan Gillam as director of product line management, a new position at the Korean automaker.
Gillam, who began her new job this week, will lead a team of product line managers and be responsible for understanding target customers, dealer engagement levels and segment marketplace dynamics, the company said. Her duties include identifying improvement areas in marketing, incentives, pricing and product distribution.
She will report to Hyundai Motor America COO Brian Smith.
"In this new position, Megan is serving an important role in taking a holistic viewpoint of the business performance of our vehicles and identifying areas for growth," Smith said in a release. "Coming from within the Hyundai organization, she'll be effective at collaborating and bringing closer together our marketing, sales and product planning strategies to ensure that we are offering the right mobility solutions to our customers. She's proven herself to be an outstanding business strategist in her career and we are looking forward to the impact she will make."
Gillam most recently was senior group manager at Genesis Motor America, where she began in September 2018. She was responsible for the development and implementation of launch and life cycle strategies for the luxury brand's lineup.
Prior to Genesis, she was the lead strategist at Latcha+Associates, a marketing and production company. In addition, she worked in various roles for six years at Ford Motor Co. and for seven years at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.
Ford Motor Co., which has been using Bryan Cranston as its celebrity spokesman, is adding another star to its marketing mix. Actor Idris Elba will serve as "creative partner" to help launch a Mustang-inspired electric crossover Nov. 17 and appear in a global marketing campaign for the vehicle.
Ford is leveraging the fact that Elba in the 1980s worked at a Ford factory in England before his acting career took off. "My dad also worked at Ford. It's practically in my blood. So working on this project and getting behind the wheel of a car that takes us all towards the future feels like things are coming full circle, but with more exhilaration and tech," he said in a statement supplied by Ford.
Ford's comments about the partnership suggest that the ads will pull from Elba's history with Ford. Andy Georgescu, a Ford product marketing manager, called him an "authentic partner" when "you match his celebrity with his personal biography." He noted Elba's interest in street racing as well as "passion for reducing emissions around the world" — two traits that make him a match for promoting a vehicle that seeks to blend performance with environmentalism.
The actor is known for playing Nelson Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom as well as starring in the critically acclaimed TV series "The Wire." This year he starred in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, and he is set to appear in the forthcoming Cats movie based on the Broadway musical.
In media interviews, Elba has frequently talked about his experiences working the night shift at a Ford plant in Dagenham, England. In a speech in 2016 in which he criticized the entertainment industry for its lack of diversity, he said, "Ford Dagenham turned out to have more opportunity and more diversity than the TV industry I was trying to break into," according to an account in a London-area news publication.
In 2013, the Irish Examiner reported how logging time in the blue-collar job motivated Elba to pursue a more glamorous acting career. "I was doing a night shift at the Ford factory in Dagenham with my dad and I knew that if I stayed there, I'd be a lifer. I took the moment to say, 'Stop. Go for it,' " the newspaper reported him saying.