Gymshark poaches Very CMO to lead marketing

Carly O’Brien joins Gymshark as vice-president of marketing as the business looks to drive growth and “build an iconic brand”.

Carly O’Brien. Source: Gymshark

Gym wear brand and fitness community Gymshark has appointed Very’s Carly O’Brien as vice-president of marketing, tasked with making the brand “a household name”.

As well as increasing brand awareness and implementing new customer engagement strategies, O’Brien will be responsible for introducing a new regional model as part of her integrated marketing strategy. The strategy is all part of the plan to help drive growth for the business in the UK and across EMEA and APAC.

O’Brien, who is one of Marketing Week’s 2021 Top 100 most effective marketers, joins from her role of CMO at The Very Group. She joined the retail group in 2019 as customer management and performance marketing director, before quickly being promoted to CMO. During her three years at retail group she led a team of more than 200 people across marketing, business transformation and community support.

I had heard a great deal about the culture at Gymshark, but as soon as I walked through the door, I felt that brilliant blend of pure humility and absolute drive to succeed.

Carly O’Brien, Gymshark

Prior to this she spent more than 15 years in marketing and transformation roles at some of the biggest names in personal finance, including Virgin Money, NatWest Group and Bank of America.

Having heard “a great deal” about the culture at Gymshark, O’Brien says she was drawn to the role thanks to the “brilliant blend of pure humility and absolute drive to succeed” she witnessed on walking through the door.

“The opportunity to bring the marketing team together in the international group, explore all the opportunities to build more brand awareness and be part of the Gymshark journey to build an iconic brand is both bold and exciting. I’m thrilled I get to be part of that story and I can’t wait to get started,” she adds.

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O’Brien will report directly to Gymshark’s international president, Niran Chana who describes her as a “hugely astute marketer with incredible experience in some of the most dynamic companies in the UK”.

“Wherever she has been before, she has had a huge impact and I’ve no doubt it will be no different at Gymshark. She will add a brilliant new dimension to the team and will undoubtedly help us grow a loyal and engaged customer base,” he says.

O’Brien is the latest in a spate of new senior hires at Gymshark, which recently named Lululemon’s Danielle Petesic as chief product officer and Burberry’s John Douglas as chief technology officer.

The Very Group is yet to find a replacement for O’Brien but is in the process of recruiting a new CMO.



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