LG Mobile’s former head of marketing John Bernard is joining Sony Ericsson in a senior global marketing role to spearhead its move into high-end fashion phones.
Bernard, who left LG last month, starts next week as head of category marketing for music in Sony Ericsson’s Vodafone global customer unit (GCU). He will report to vice-president and head of the Vodafone GCU Peter Marsden.
Bernard was responsible for launching LG’s Chocolate phone in the UK and also worked on the launch of its Prada mobile. He negotiated a number of high-profile sponsorship deals with football clubs including Arsenal, Liverpool and Fulham during his three years at LG.
Sony Ericsson, which is the world’s fourth-biggest mobile phone manufacturer, has a strong portfolio of music (Walkman) and camera (Cybershot) phones. Sources say Bernard will be tasked with adding a “third string to its bow” and it is thought that a number of “fashion devices” will be launched in time for Christmas.
Bernard’s appointment is part of a shake-up of Sony Ericsson’s global marketing team that began last month when it promoted its Latin American marketing chief Helené Barnekow to vice-president and head of central marketing (MW July 19).
Analysts told Marketing Week last month that Sony Ericsson had to expand its portfolio in order to achieve its aim of becoming a top three player (MW July 26).
Sony Ericsson confirms Bernard’s appointment, although a spokeswoman denies it is making a concerted effort to move into fashion phones. Bernard was unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.