Direct Line Group recruits’s Sam Day as interim CMO

Former CMO Samuel Day will join Direct Line Group to lead its marketing function on an interim basis, as it prepares to welcome a new chief executive and enter “its next growth phase”. Samuel DayDirect Line Group has appointed’s former top marketer as its interim CMO to “help prepare the business for its next growth phase”.

Samuel Day spent almost six years as CMO at price comparison business before announcing his departure in November.

He joins Direct Line Group as it prepares to welcome a new CEO, Adam Winslow, later this quarter. Its acting CEO Jonathan Greenwood took the reins in January last year after former chief executive Penny James stepped down.

Direct Line Group’s marketing team has also seen a series of changes in recent years. In October 2022, the company’s longstanding managing director, marketing and digital Mark Evans stepped down. A restructure followed during which the company created a chief customer office led by the firm’s managing director of household, partnerships, data, pricing and underwriting, Kate Syred.

Direct Line restructures marketing with introduction of chief customer office

The top marketer reporting into Syred at the time was brands director Kerry Chilvers. However, Chilvers departed the business in July 2023. Last year also saw the departure of Direct Line’s head of marketing, Wendy Moore, and its head of insight, marketing effectiveness and customer experience, Ann Constantine in April and February 2023, respectively.

Head of customer value Sam Taylor was promoted to interim marketing director in February last year. He will now return to his head of customer value role.

As group CMO, Day will be responsible for setting strategy across its brands, which include Direct Line and Churchill. He is also tasked with leading the business’s date-led marketing innovation and driving “even greater customer centricity, to ensure a consistent and effective return on investment”.

“I’ve seen from the outside how passionately everyone focuses on customer experience and cutting-edge marketing. I can’t wait to get to work on driving this to the next level,” Days says.

“All the brands across the portfolio are strong household names and one of my passions is developing multi-brand strategies to ensure they complement each other perfectly.”

The 2024 Agenda: The demand for interim CMOs will rise

Acting CEO Greenwood praises Day’s “proven track record”. Day was brought into in 2018 by former owner Admiral to reverse its decline in market share and grow profits with a view to an eventual carve-out sale.

This was completed in May 2021 when ZPG (Zoopla Property Group) bought the company in a deal worth more than £500m. He also overhauled the brand’s marketing creative to launch its ‘Confusion to Clarity’ campaign which saw the site significantly improve its market share in the motor insurance category. regained its position as the number two price comparison website in the motor and home markets while Day was leading its marketing.

Before joining, he was head of customer acquisition at breakdown cover service RAC. Before this, he spent time at Microsoft, as well as the AA and HSBC.