Open University starts hunt for marketing chief

The Open University is looking for a marketing chief following the departure of former Royal Mail and Dulux marketer Dr Andrew Hobbs.

Jan Smith, a former marketing director for Mazda and the RAC, has taken on the role of marketing, sales and customer development director for a six-month period until a replacement is found. She has just completed a period of consultancy work for the Co-operative Group, working on a project to revive the membership “divi” – a sum paid out to members depending on how much they spend.

Hobbs’ departure follows his re-appointment of FCBi to handle the Open University’s integrated marketing account in December last year, after the agency pitched against Clark McKay & Walpole, DFGW and Joshua. According to Nielsen Media Research, the university spends over £2m a year on advertising. Zed Media handles media buying.

Smith has identified several tasks the Open University must focus on, including launching a new brand identity across the organisation, the logo for which has been designed by Wolff Olins. She also wants to more clearly define potential customer markets to boost student recruitment.

The Open University is the UK’s only university dedicated to distance learning. Founded in the Sixties, it has about 150,000 undergraduates and 30,000 postgraduates, who mostly study on a part- time basis.

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