Karen Francis is the latest GM executive to leave the automaker for the dot-com world.
She resigned after only 18 months as marketing general manager of Oldsmobile Division. Her new job is chief marketing officer and managing director of Internet Capital Group, a Pennsylvania-based e-business to business firm.
"I have decided to move on to the next phase of my personal career," says Ms. Francis, 38.
She was among the best known of the non-automotive marketing executives whom GM recruited in recent years to try new ideas and unconventional ways of car retailing.
Because she began her marketing career at Proctor and Gamble, Ms. Francis was dubbed the "toothpaste lady" for her marketing experience with Crest.
But she says, "It's preposterous to sell cars the way diapers are sold."
During her GM stint she discovered that "dealers play an important role in imparting passion about cars to customers. That's why we've focused on dealers and their personnel."
David Fischer, an Oldsmobile dealer in Troy, MI, says he's disappointed by Ms. Francis' departure.
"She brought a positive new light to Olds as a changing brand," he says.
Other GM departees who entered the e-world are Joel Manby, who headed Saab, and Roy Roberts, GM vice president of sales and marketing.