While we’re on the subject of auto companies and their corporate communications chiefs, it seems a good time to wish BMW AG’s Richard Gaul good hunting after he rides into the sunset later this year. He said good-bye to reporters at the Detroit Auto Show, his last, last month.
Why acknowledge Herr Gaul? Auto industry CEOs almost automatically replace the head of communications when they ascend to power. It’s a personal hire. Gaul, though, has survived Eberhard von Kuenheim, who hired him, Bernd Pischetsrieder, Joachim Milberg and current chairman Dr. Helmut Panke. Granted, many will say that Gaul was immovable because of the power von Kuenheim still wields in Munich and with the controlling Quandt family. But the truth is also that Gaul bleeds BMW blue and has run a very classy communications operation. It’s not often that a PR man gets credit for being a key brand steward for a company, but Gaul deserves it.