Unilever has a new take on its CMO role and names its first chief digital and marketing officer

Key Points
  • Unilever's widely respected chief marketing and communications officer Keith Weed left earlier this year, and the company said earlier it intended to change the top marketer role somewhat. 
  • The company has named Conny Braams as Chief Digital & Marketing Officer. 
  • The company also hired former Revlon CEO and President Fabian Garcia as its new President of Unilever North America, replacing Amanda Sourry. 
Conny Braams, Unilever's new Chief Digital & Marketing Officer

Unilever, which said it wanted to evolve its chief marketing officer role when longtime marketing chief Keith Weed stepped down earlier this year, has hired a replacement and landed on a new title: Chief Digital and Marketing Officer.

Conny Braams, formerly an EVP of Unilever Middle Europe, is taking on this new role at the consumer packaged goods giant. Unilever CEO Alan Jope said Braams will be tasked with turning Unilever into a "future-fit, fully digitized organization at the leading edge of consumer marketing." Braams joined Unilever in 1990, and the company said she has held a number of marketing leadership and general management roles in European and Asian markets.

The company also announced Fabian Garcia, former president and CEO of Revlon, was being appointed president of Unilever North America. He replaces Amanda Sourry, who the company said is retiring from the company after 30 years to pursue new opportunities.

Jope said earlier this year the company hoped to replace Weed, who is considered an industry leader, with what he called a "CMO++," which would entail the traditional role of chief marketing officer with additional responsibilities.

The world's biggest marketers have grappled with a changing CMO role, as companies increasingly are doing away with the role or changing it. In June, McDonald's global CMO left and the company said her role would not be directly replaced. Similar changes occurred at many companies, including Uber, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson.

The responsibilities of the top marketers at major brands have sprawled in the last several years, giving them more responsibility than ever before beyond advertising.

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