DETROIT — Tony Cervone is returning to General Motors as SVP of global communications, reporting directly to CEO Mary Barra.

For the past three years, Cervone has been at Volkswagen where  he was EVP of group communications for America, and before that, he was chief communications officer at United Airlines. Prior to these roles, Cervone was a 10 year veteran of GM, holding positions that range from director through to VP of global communications. He originally joined GM via the Chrysler Group where he held various positions, including VP, over 14 years.     

In his new post, effective immediately,  Cervone will have overall responsibility for GM’s global communications, including global products and brands, corporate, social media, executive support and internal communications.

Last month, GM parted ways with comms chief Selim Bingol amid a management shakeup that followed the recall of nearly 2.6m cars as a result of an ignition switch defect that GM says was known to engineers since 2001. The defect has been linked to 13 deaths.

Following Bingol’s departure, GM brought back former comms chief Steve Harris “on a contract basis for a limited time” to deal with the ongoing fallout. It is expected that Cervone will work alongside Harris who retired from GM in 2004, returned to the company for the first time in 2006 as the company dealt with the financial crisis that ultimately led to its bankruptcy. Harris  retired again in 2009 and had been serving for the past three years as a partner at McGinn & Company, a crisis management consultancy based in Arlington, Va.