Nationwide Building Society is looking for a marketing director in a major restructure that casts doubts over the future role of head of brand strategy Peter Gandolfi (pictured).
The move will be the biggest shake-up of Nationwide’s marketing department in a number of years, and the first time the building society has looked externally to fill a top marketing role.
It is understood that the role of marketing director would be on the same level as Gandolfi, who deals with brand and agency relationships, reporting to sales and marketing director John Sutherland. But insiders say the new position could dilute Gandolfi’s influence within the company. He has served more than 20 years at Nationwide.
The reshuffle is understood to have been driven by Sutherland, who was promoted to a board-level role last year and is responsible for
all group retail marketing including pricing, product development and customer experience. Previously he held divisional director roles running the branch network and its operational back offices.
The new marketing role would be operational, with a focus on product and customer marketing, rather than brand-focused, although it is expected to have scope for some brand communications.
Gandolfi worked his way up from roles including Chilterns area manager, before becoming head of football in 1999, later promoted to his present role. He was responsible for the Mark Benton-fronted bank manager campaign, created by Leagas Delaney three years ago and still running.
The changes also reflect a shift in strategy at the mutual, which in January started using TV product and direct-response ads to sit alongside its brand work (MW January 31).