20 Oct Steve Brennen, Uber’s former head marketer, named Australia…
Steve Brennen has been named the country’s top chief marketing officer for his work with Uber, less than two weeks after Brennen revealed he was leaving the ride sharing company and joining buy now pay later disruptor Zip as chief customer officer.
The annual CMO50 list recognises Australia’s most effective marketing leaders. Brennen took out the number one spot and was joined by the likes of the ABC’s Leisa Bacon, Unilever’s Paul Connell, IAG’s Brent Smart, and Telstra’s Jeremy Nicholas, who rounded out the top five.
Women made up 24 of the 50 recognised marketers, and 12 of the top 25.
The Heart Foundation’s Chris Taylor came in 11th on the list. Taylor faced controversy earlier this year for the organisation’s Heartless Words campaign, which was axed following pressure from donors and other health groups. The previous campaign, Serial Killer, which launched in February in partnership with News Corp, was extremely successful and award-winning.
Former CMO and current marketing strategy consultant, David Morgan, has judged the CMO50 list every year. He said this year’s list was the hardest yet to judge.
“Marketing leaders are required to be commercially savvy, martech savvy, own communications, juggle a lot of different business objectives, build customer personalisation, own services and more,” Morgan said.
“We had nominees with 300 staff in their function, then startups with a handful of staff.
Fellow judge Mike Zeederberg, managing director of boutique marketing agency Zuni, agreed.
“What we did see was a lot still doing structural work, versus the ‘sexy’ work,” he said.
“But we are definitely seeing people endeavouring to do things differently.”
Also featuring on the list is Tamara Howe, placing 17th. Kellogg’s’ top marketer has also had a headline-inducing year after the brand awarded its media account to Zenith following one of the most-talked-about pitches of the year, in which the company demanded agencies accept 120-day payment terms.
Initiative’s global CEO Mat Baxter called out the pitch in his Mumbrella360 keynote in June, in which he called upon agencies to ditch the pitch, or at least refuse to participate in pitches such as that for the Kellogg’s account.
“I can’t speak for other clients, however Mat’s comments do not reflect the process at Kellogg ANZ. We get many requests to work on our business so I think a ‘pitch’ process provides a structured, fair opportunity,” Howe told Mumbrella in response.
In addition to the top 50 list, the CMO50 listed three ‘ones to watch’ – Anglicare’s Amy-Lee Hopkins, Finder.com.au’s Malini Sietaram, and Lawpath’s Tom Willis.