August 18, 2016 – Executive search firm DHR International has recruited Andy Donkin as chief marketing officer of Under Armour. Carlos Cata, a DHR managing partner in charge of the firm’s global CMO practice, and retail and consumer sector managing partner Frank Spencer, along with partner Julie Eakers, led the search.
Mr. Donkin joins Under Armour from Amazon, where he served as head of worldwide mass and brand marketing, where he managed the company’s global media budget and developed offline and online campaigns globally for North America, Europe and Asia. With vast technology and innovation expertise, Mr. Donkin was instrumental in the ideation, development and production of groundbreaking creative campaigns such as Amazon Prime, Amazon FireTV (streaming), Amazon tablets, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Echo and Amazon retail.
“I am excited to add new talent to our executive team as we continue to expand our business globally,” said Kevin Plank, Under Armour founder and chief executive officer. “Andy Donkin brings unmatched expertise and reflects our continued drive as an innovation company.”
Under Armour is a highly popular sports clothing and accessories company that currently supplies sportswear, footwear and casual apparel for customers around the world. Headquartered in Baltimore, Under Armour currently has additional offices in China, Indonesia, and Canada. The multi-billion dollar company was founded by Mr. Plank, a 23 year old former special teams’ captain at the University of Maryland who started working out of his grandmother’s basement.
Consultants in DHR’s consumer practice group have extensive experience providing executive search and leadership solutions to a variety of consumer organizations. Clients range from small, emerging and mid-sized companies to leading Fortune 500 multinational consumer goods and services organizations. In addition to placing Under Armour’s CMO, DHR has placed chief marketing officers for Pandora Jewelry and YMCA of the USA.
Mr. Cata’s search focus extends across the commercial leadership function for financial services, consumer, professional services, and life science clients.
Driving Digital Disruption
As business becomes more global and complex, and power shifts from producers of goods and services to consumers, a chief marketing officer’s (CMO) responsibility of planning and coordinating an organization’s marketing activities has become much more challenging, according to recruiters specializing in the function.
Current business landscape demands have increased the contribution from chief marketing officers, the latest research report from Forrester and Heidrick & Struggles reveals. The survey found CMOs are building strong relationships with the head of product and research & development to prepare the organization for digital disruption.
In many cases, CMOs today are actually the ones driving the disruption. “Today’s CMO works with the CEO to accelerate the organization and drive transformation,” said Scott A. Scanlon, founding chairman and CEO of Greenwich, Conn-based Hunt Scanlon Media. “CMOs also collaborate with other members of the C-suite especially a company’s top HR executive to shape the company brand.” As such, said Mr. Scanlon, chief marketing executives are gaining rapidly in stature and influence in the C-suite.
In fact, any C-suite without a capable marketing chief in place today could very well signal lack of direction and ignorance of brand importance. It might also be a sign that digital innovation backed by data analytics might not be playing the key support role that could ultimately transform a business. Connectivity, by way of social media, is now seen as the No. 1 challenge for marketing chiefs as they reinvent companies in their charge with 21st century consumers in mind.
“Recent studies on the chief marketing officer role have concluded that the responsibilities of the job are being transformed by one of the most significant upheavals of our times: the digital revolution. The gist is that the CMO job is getting bigger — much bigger,” said Erich Joachimsthaler, chief writer for The Business Journals. “Some studies even suggest that the ‘new CMO’ will serve double, triple, quadruple or even quintuple duty as chief growth officer, chief innovation officer, chief customer officer, chief relationship builder, and even chief publishing officer.”
Bridging the Digital Divide
Companies continue to turn to executive search firms in droves to find chief marketing officers who can make a difference and bridge the digital divide. Here is a look at just a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon archives:
- Calibre One recently recruited Jo Scarlett as chief marketing officer of PA Consulting Group. She joins from BT, where she was chief digital and marketing officer of the company’s global services division, leading an integrated marketing and communications function to support BT’s business in more than 180 countries around the world.
- Pi Executive recruited Angelique Bellmer Krembs as chief marketing officer of News America Marketing (NAM), a marketer and influencer for online and offline shoppers in the U.S. and Canada. Ms. Bellmer Krembs brings with her 22 years of expertise from PepsiCo, where she was known for leading iconic brands, including Pepsi, Mountain Dew and SoBe.
- Hanold Associates placed David Sarjantson as chief marketing officer at Denver-based Fortis Private Bank. Formerly with Microsoft as director of search engagement and relationship marketing, Mr. Sarjantson has extensive marketing experience in both transformative and growth environments.
- Accelent recruited Maria Pousa as chief marketing officer of Integral Ad Science (IAS). Most recently, Ms. Pousa served as senior vice president of global marketing at Mediaocean.
- Work&Partners LLC placed Mark Lewis as the first chief marketing officer for Clarity Solution Group, LLC. Mr. Lewis was formerly the practice lead at Slalom Consulting where he led marketing and development of the company’s products.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media