Nationwides Sutherland steps down over marketing rethink

Nationwide sales and marketing director John Sutherland is stepping down from his role following the building society’s decision to bring in a board-level marketing specialist.

The move follows the acquisition of the Derbyshire and Cheshire building societies and its decision keep all three as standalone brands.

It is unclear if Sutherland will be moved to another role within the organisation or leave the building society.

It is understood he was consulted over the role change and the lender’s increased emphasis on marketing and brand, but that his stronger experience in sales was a deciding factor in his not getting the board-level position.

The decision also means that Nationwide’s search for a marketing director to sit below Sutherland has been put on hold.

Head of brand strategy Peter Gandolfi; head of customer insights, customer relationship marketing and segment marketing Simon Barnes; and head of customer experience and segment marketing Tim Hughes were to have reported to the new division director (MW July 3).

The board-level marketer is expected to sit at the same level as group development director Tony Prestedge, who will lead the integration of the Derbyshire and Cheshire.

Both building societies separately approached Nationwide chief executive Graham Beale because they were expecting losses in the first half of the year as a result of pressure on the money markets.

The Derbyshire is the country’s ninth largest building society and Cheshire is the 11th.

Sutherland was promoted to his role last year, with responsibility for all group retail marketing including pricing, product development and customer experience. Previously he held divisional director roles running the branch network and its operation back offices as well as sales-oriented positions.

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