Mondelez changes CMO to ‘chief growth officer’

11/08/2014

FMCG giant Mondelez, owner of brands such as Cadbury's, Philadelphia and Oreo has scrapped its traditional Chief Marketing Officer position for a new wider-reaching role that includes global strategy and research and development.

Under the move, CMO Mary Beth West is leaving the company as part of reorganization at the firm.

Marketing will now be overseen by Mark Clouse, Mondelez's North American president, who will assume the newly created role of chief growth officer.

The new position will include responsibility over corporate strategy and global marketing, sales and research and development.

Shifting oversight under one remit is intended to ensure an “integrated approach” that allows Mondelez to “more efficiently allocate resources to accelerate expansion of global innovation platforms, power brands and breakthrough technologies,” the company says in a statement.
West, whose formal title was executive VP-Chief Category and Marketing Officer, assumed the top marketing role at Mondelez when the company was formed in 2012 after Kraft Foods split into two companies: Mondelez and Kraft Foods Group.

In a statement, Mondelez said West was leaving the company to "pursue other interests" but did not reveal details.

The company also said it would implement a "region category-led operating model" globally beginning next year. The model, which is already used in Europe and North America, is meant to "drive growth, streamline decision-making and accelerate speed to market," the company said.

"With these changes to our organizational structure, one of my dearest colleagues has decided that it's the right time to begin the next chapter of her career," Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld said in a statement. "I've worked with Mary Beth since the 1980s at General Foods. Her deep commitment to developing people, unwavering passion for our brands and pursuit of breakthrough marketing have been her hallmarks for over 25 years and will be her legacy for many years to come."

Dana Anderson will remain in her role as senior-VP marketing strategy and communications and will now report to Clouse. She had previously reported to West.

The company has reported mixed results in recent quarters. In the three months to 31 March net revenue dipped 1.2 per cent, while operating profit grew 1.1 per cent to $843m. The company has targeted margin improvements to boost profit growth through efficiency savings and cost-cutting, a strategy that led to the spin-off of its coffee brands into a standalone company in partnership with DE Master Blenders earlier this year.

The company also announced it is to switch to region category-led operating model from next year. The global setup will mirror that recently adopted by the company’s biscuit division, which sees marketing strategy for its biscuit brands set globally and adapted locally.

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