‘An innovative storyteller’: Facebook begins its search for a new CMO

Facebook’s next CMO faces ongoing challenges around reputation and trust, while at the same time being tasked with building the brand.

facebookFacebook has begun its search for a new CMO to take over from Antonio Lucio as it faces ongoing challenges with brand trust and reputation.

Lucio recently revealed he was stepping down, saying he wants to dedicate himself to diversity and inclusion work. He leaves Facebook next month, although will continue working with the company until it finds a successor.

That leaves the social network with a big hole to fill on its leadership team. And it has a big list of requirements for whoever fills the role next.

A job ad on Facebook’s careers site says it is looking for someone to “build, manage and inspire a global marketing organisation focused on its consumer business and overall company reputation”. The ideal marketer to take on the role, which will cover the portfolio of apps and the Facebook corporate brand, should have experience of “managing marketing budgets upwards of $500m” and at least 15 years’ experience, preferably at a tech company.

It is also looking for an “innovative executive” who is a “natural storyteller”. Plus, Facebook wants someone with “substantial experience” across everything from product to digital marketing, retail to analytics, events to partnerships.

The social network also admits it is still learning how best to use marketing, an admission it made when it hired Lucio two years ago.

“This executive must welcome the challenge to build marketing in an organisation that is engineering led and still learning to capitalise on marketing’s impact,” reads the ad.

Whoever takes on the role faces a challenge almost as difficult as the one Lucio found when he joined. Two years ago, Facebook was reeling from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which had led to big questions over how it used personal data and hit brand trust.

It still faces a gamut of issues including the ever-present threat of regulation, ongoing questions over how it uses data and its role in everything from the rise of white supremacy to the anti-vaccination movement. Only last month more than 1,000 brands, including the likes of Coca-Cola and Unilever, paused ad spend across its platforms in support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign.

According to Kantar BrandZ, Facebook remains the eighth biggest brand in the world with a value of $147bn. But it has been slipping down the rankings as these hits to its brand reputation take their toll.

Its brand value fell by 7% this year after a 2% fall in the rankings in 2019. That is a rapid turnaround after it experienced a 25% increase in its brand value in 2018, according to BrandZ.

Facebook has put more focus on its brand and marketing in the past two years. It unveiled its first corporate identity for Facebook last year with an all-caps logo that now appears across its suite of products – from Instagram to Whatsapp. That was aimed at improving transparency and to convey the idea it is a family of brands.