Unilever creates chief digital and marketing officer role to ensure business is ‘future-fit’

Unilever veteran Conny Braams will take on the top marketing role at the FMCG giant after Keith Weed retired earlier this year.

unileverUnilever is creating the new role of chief digital and marketing officer as it looks to become a “future-fit, fully digitised organisation”.

Conny Braams, currently executive vice-president of Unilever Middle Europe, will take on the role, becoming the FMCG giant’s top marketer on 1 January 2020. She replaces former top marketer Keith Weed, who was chief marketing and communications officer but retired at the start of this year.

Unilever CEO Alan Jope says: “Conny Braams is one of our most successful and talented leaders, as well as a highly effective driver of change. As our new chief digital and marketing officer, her experience will be critical to the transformation of Unilever into a future-fit, fully digitised organisation at the leading edge of consumer marketing.”

Braams has been with Unilever for 19 years; she joined in 2000 as a business unit director before become vice-president of corporate communications and sustainability in Europe in 2004.

She rose through the ranks, becoming senior vice-president of Asia, Africa and the Middle East in 2010 before moving to head up Europe in 2016.

Unilever has been considering what shape the CMO role at Unilever should take since Weed left. Speaking at Cannes in June, Jope described his replacement as a “CMO++”.

He explained: “It won’t be an identical role – we’ll chop off 20% and add 20%. It will still be chief marketing officer at the core and then we’ll bolt on a few different things.”

Elsewhere, Unilever’s president of North America, Amanda Sourry, is retiring after 30 years. Fabian Garcia, former president and chief executive of Revlon, will replace her.

Jope says: “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Amanda for her
significant contribution to Unilever over so many years. Her strategic clarity, operational experience and passion for developing talent have made her one of the company’s best leaders of recent times. We wish her all the best for the future.”

He adds: “I would also like to extend a warm welcome to Fabian, a truly global and purpose-driven business leader, who brings to Unilever deep experience of the consumer goods industry in North America and many other markets, as well as an impressive track record of high performance.”