Aussie retailer Paws for Life brings on its first CMO

Appoints former Sony head of brand marketing as its first chief marketing officer as it looks to move from startup to market leader

Australian pet supply retailer, Paws for Life, has appointed former Sony head of brand marketing to become its first chief marketing officer (CMO) as it looks to embark on its next phase of development.

Simon Hovell was previously the head of direct business and brand marketing at Sony and steps into the CMO role immediately. His was previously marketing director at Dell Australia and New Zealand, the head of brand, advertising and customer value at NAB, and has worked in a number of media agency roles.

Alongside Hovell, Paws for life has also recruited former chief financial officer of Virgin Mobile, Paul Jamison, as its new CFO.

In a statement, Hovell said Paws for Life has made significant strides using the lean start-up approach of experiment, iterate, learn, optimise and repeat, but it was time to take things to the next level.

The retailer was recently awarded Fastest Growing Startup at the 2014 StartupSmart Awards and claims to have chalked up 58,000 per cent growth in three years of operation. It has also raised $2.4 million in investment funding since its inception in 2011.

“Up until now, the marketing focus has been solely on gaining traction through rapid payback marketing efforts, with most success in search engine marketing,” Hovell said. “My remit is to expand that approach into other channels and build out the customer experience with a particular focus on retention and partner marketing.

“I’m excited by the challenge of taking animber start-up on the brand evolution journey. Simultaneously, as we grow we’re committed to maintaining our high levels of customer happiness.”

Paws for Life CEO and founder, Mike Frizell, said Hovell and Jamison brought the organisation strong experience in large, market-leading firms.

“At Paws for Life we manage everything ourselves, from developing our technology to warehousing and logistics, to distribution and customer service, and now marketing and accounting,” he commented. “ It is the only way we can ensure our customers get the level of service they expect and deserve, and the only way to ensure our partners get the brand integrity they deserve.”

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