Tesco uses Unilever connections to appoint new marketing chief

Tesco has announced the appointment of Unilever’s Alessandra Bellini as its new chief customer officer.

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Tesco’s CEO Dave Lewis won’t have to continue as acting marketing boss for much longer with Unilever’s VP of food in North America Alessandra Bellini set to join as its new chief customer officer from 1 March.

Bellini, who has been at Unilever for over two decades, will be Tesco’s fourth marketing boss in just over three years. Her appointment follows the surprise departure of Robin Terrell last August.

Lewis, himself an ex-Unilever marketer, says Bellini will enable Tesco’s brand to evolve and praised her experience managing Unilever brands such as Cif. “Her experience in building brands will be a valuable asset in the next stage of building a truly differentiated Tesco brand,” he says.

“She understands how to put the customer at the heart of business decisions, and has a great track record of building market-leading brands and teams. I am very much looking forward to having her on the team.”

Tesco recently switched up its marketing, with a new campaign focusing on the premium food it offers. And Bellini’s vast experience in US-based food roles within Unilever could signal that Tesco, and its ad agency BBH, will prioritise food-based advertising over the coming years.

The move confirms a Marketing Week interview with Tesco’s group brand director Michelle McEttrick last November, who said at the time: “I won’t be going for the chief customer office job as I want to finish the job I was recruited for as there’s still such a long way to go. Maybe ask me again in four years.”

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