Philips chief steps down due to ill health

Philips Electronics global marketing chief Gerard Dufour has left the company after suffering two major heart attacks, sources have confirmed.

Dufour was hired three years ago from Philips’ advertising agency Euro RSCG. He is widely credited with introducing a branding and marketing culture at the electronics giant and revitalising its staid image.

As senior director of marketing and chairman of the brand equity committee, he was responsible for the “Let’s make things better” campaign, which helped sell Philips to a younger market.

Dufour’s position was created for him by chief executive Cor Boonstra and he will not be directly replaced.

Ad Veenhof, a member of Philips’ group management committee, will become chairman of the brand equity board. Mark Kerray, head of the sponsorship centre of excellence, will take over as head of the global brand management department, and report to Veenhof.

Philips staff were informed in a memo that Dufour would be leaving to “pursue other interests outside the company”, but sources have confirmed that Dufour decided to go after suffering two major heart attacks.

Paying tribute to Dufour’s work, he says: “Gerard brought a universality and focus to Philips’ marketing strategy which it lacked before.

“He has left a good, stable platform for the company to build on. There is a lot more self-confidence and belief in where it is going.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here