Facebook poaches HP’s Antonio Lucio as new CMO

Lucio joins at a critical time for the social network as it looks to rebuild its brand reputation following a series of scandals that have impacted consumers’ and advertisers’ trust, as well as raised the ire of governments and regulators.

Facebook's new CMO Antonio Lucio

Facebook has hired HP’s Antonio Lucio as its new CMO as the social network looks to repair its brand image after a series of scandals.

Lucio starts at Facebook on 4 September and will report to chief product officer Chris Cox, while being part of COO Sheryl Sandberg’s leadership team. He will work across the business, including on Facebook-owned apps such as Instagram and Whatsapp.

Lucio fills a role that has been vacant since Gary Briggs left at the start of this year. Lucio is currently CMO at HP, and has previously worked at Visa and Pepsi leading innovation.

Writing in a post on Facebook, Cox notes that Facebook faces both challenges and opportunities. Welcoming Lucio, he adds: “Facebook’s story is at an inflection point. We have never faced bigger challenges, and we have never had more opportunities to have a positive impact on the world — in our families, our friendships, our communities, and our democracy — by improving our products at their core, and then by telling the story outside that we all know to be true inside.”

Sandberg also wrote about the appointment. “Antonio has a lot of experience leading marketing for major brands like HP and Visa – and he’s been recognised for both his talents and commitment to diversity. Now he’ll help us share Facebook’s story with the world.

“Every day people use our apps to connect with family and friends and make a difference in their communities. It’s what motivates me and our teams – and I’m excited to see how Antonio brings our mission to life.”

Lucio faces a tough task at Facebook as it looks to rebuild its brand reputation following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and mounting questions over its role in areas from the spread of fake news to Russian interference in US elections.

It had advertised for a CMO on LinkedIn, with a job ad that asked for a CMO that could “build, manage and inspire a global marketing organisation focused on its consumer business and overall company reputation”. The job covers everything from product and digital marketing to social media, analytics, branding, events and partnerships.

Facebook will be hoping Lucio can bring his considerable experience to bear on a brand that admits it is “still learning to capitalise on marketing’s impact” in a company that is engineering led. Lucio will also bring a fresh perspective, and has been vocal in the past about the marketing industry’s need to improve inclusion and diversity, something he pushed hard on both internally at HP and with its agencies.

The departure of Lucio mean Vikrant Batra, currently global head of marketing for HP’s print business, will be promoted to CMO while its chief communications officer Karen Kahn is promoted to the executive leadership team. Both will report into CEO Dion Weisler.

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