Tony Cervone

GM Tony Cervone

Tony Cervone currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.

He retired as senior vice president, Global Communications for General Motors in July 2020. He was named to that position in May 2014. As GM’s top communications executive, he was responsible for the company’s overall global communications strategy. He was a member of the Senior Leadership Team and a senior advisor to CEO Mary Barra. In October 2015, he assumed responsibility for the GM Foundation and corporate giving activities, serving as Chairman of the GM Foundation.

Prior to that position, Cervone served since 2011 as executive vice president of Group Communications for Volkswagen Group of America in Herndon, Virginia, where he revamped the company’s communications activities for its VW, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bugatti brands.

Prior to VW, Cervone was senior vice president and chief communications officer for United Airlines in Chicago from 2009 to 2011, where he helped manage the company’s merger with Continental Airlines.

From 1999 to 2009, Cervone worked at GM in several senior communications positions including executive director of Corporate Communications, responsible for media relations, issues management and labor and employee communications; executive director of Executive and Financial Communications; vice president of GM Europe Communications; vice president of GM North America Communications; and vice president of Global Communications Strategy and Operations.

From 1985 to 1999, Cervone worked at Chrysler Corp. and then DaimlerChrysler AG in virtually every aspect of auto industry communications, from product and technology to supplier and crisis communications. He managed pre- and post-merger communications related to the merger of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz.

Cervone is a former member of the Arthur Page Society, the Public Relations Society of America, and The Seminar. He formerly served on the Advisory Council for the Department of Communication at the College of Charleston. He is a former trustee of The Institute for Public Relations, and former board member of The LaGrant Foundation, the Automotive Press Association, the Ad Council and Detroit Public Television (DPTV). Cervone was named Automotive News Allstar twice, and has been named to both PR Week top 50 US Communicators and Holmes Report Global 100 numerous times. He was entered into the Central Michigan University School of Journalism Hall of Fame in 2018, and the PR Week Hall of Fame in 2019.

Our Mission

The Plank Center’s mission is to help develop and recognize outstanding diverse public relations leaders, role models and mentors to advance ethical public relations in an evolving, global society. The Center works to achieve its mission by:

Advancing knowledge of leadership values and skills in the profession;

Supporting research, teaching, service, and professional educational efforts that help develop diverse, responsible and trustworthy leaders;

Bridging the interests and vision of the practice and education; and

Collaborating with other groups and associations to nurture the ethical and effective practice of public relations.