FMCG giant Unilever ditches its Chief Marketing Officer position

By our News Team | 2022

An evolving global marketing landscape is bringing with it a change to the way CMOs of the future must operate.

As the world changes, so too must the role of the CMO. And an increasing change of pace means an evolving change in responsibility. 

Peter Fisk, a global marketing and business thought leader, noted in a blog post in late 2021 that “Marketers should be stepping up to drive strategy, innovation and change across the organisation. If not them, then who?”

At Unilever, one of the world’s biggest FMCG businesses, the evolution of that Chief Marketing Officer role has become apparent. So apparent that, as of April 2022, the CMO job no longer exists.

Instead, reports the industry publication Adweek, the company’s most senior marketer, Conny Braams, has been appointed as its first Chief Digital and Commercial Officer to reflect the “blurring lines” between digital marketing and commerce.

Marketing Roles

Photo by Cottonbro from Pexels

“It doesn’t mean we’re dropping marketing. It means we’re adding sales,” Braams told Adweek in an interview. This, the publication says, is the result of changes to global consumer behaviour, which was reconfigured for digital following Covid-19.

Head a new team of category marketing leads

In her updated role, Braams will guide a newly formed team of category marketing leads across segments including nutrition and beauty.

“The convergence that’s been happening in media, entertainment and shopping channels has driven us to rethink what the core of marketing and sales really is. We can now build brands and convert sales at the same time, so why would [we] artificially split that?” she explained.

But while the rapid shift to an online marketing focus in many countries does bring positives, there are still challenges that need to be met in the online landscape, Braams cautioned. These challenges include brand safety, ad fraud and declining consumer trust.

“We need a shift in mindset, from solving problems to preventing problems. We need to act so we don’t react. Prevent before we need to treat. Foresight instead of hindsight,” she said. “This technology revolution must be accompanied by the development of substantial new ethical infrastructures and policies. The internet without trust is scandal.”

You can read the full Adweek article here.

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.