Mars global CMO steps down, chief customer officer takes over

Mars announces departure of Bruce McColl after a decade leading marketing at the snacking and food giant

Bruce McColl at the 2015 AANA Reset conference
Bruce McColl at the 2015 AANA Reset conference

Mars will extend the role of its chief customer officer to also include marketing following the departure of global CMO, Bruce McColl.

McColl has been at the marketing helm for the past 10 years, and with the snacking and food giant for 24. He will retire in June and be replaced by Andrew Clarke, who became the brand’s chief customer officer last year and will now oversee media, consumer marketing and sales.

In a statement, Mars president and CEO, Grant Reid, noted marketplace dynamics are blurring the lines between sales and marketing.

“Retail and shopper trends are moving at a remarkable pace and digital is providing new routes to reach consumers that blend advertising and selling,” Reid stated. “We’ve evolving our approach to advance the way our marketing and customer strategies work together to address these trends.”

The statement also noted Clarke and McColl had been working over the last year on creating a strategy to look at demand in a more integrated way.

“Mars has tremendous brands supported by world-class marketing communications, and that will continue as the expert CMOs in our segments drive creativity and innovation,” Clarke stated. “Building on that, consumers are demanding a more seamless brand experience, and we have an opportunity to grow our categories with our brands and our customers.

“In this new role, I see myself as a connector between our muscle in marketing and our strength in sales, and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity.”

Reid also thanked McColl for his significant contribution to the brand, a list that includes winning the 2012 Cannes Global Advertiser of the Year and the 2015 Client of the Year at the prestigious The One Show.

“His stewardship of our global agency relationships and collaboration with the marketing community at Mars have resulted in a legacy of brand-building, and a team of great marketers who are elemental to our success with consumers and customers,” he said. “I’m personally grateful for all he has done for Mars and wish him every happiness in his retirement.”

McColl told attendees at last year's AANA Reset conference that marketers needed stop using fear as the basis of agency relationships and put more emphasis on curiosity, collaboration and profitability if they hope to achieve sustained creativity.

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