Commonwealth Bank creates new group marketing and corporate affairs role

CBA hires new group executive of marketing and corporate affairs following the retirement of its group general counsel and director of corporate affairs to try and be more customer-led

Commonwealth Bank has recruited a new group executive of marketing and corporate affairs for its executive leadership team.

The ASX-listed banking giant has brought on Priscilla Sims Brown to the newly created role, a position its CEO, Matt Comyn, said allows greater focus on its customers. The appointment was prompted by the forthcoming departure of group general counsel and group executive group director of corporate affairs, Anna Lenahan, who is retiring on 30 June.

Sims Brown has spent the last two years as CEO of Emerge.me, a US startup digital healthcare platform. She was previously chief marketing officer and senior VP at AXA Financial in the US, and Lincoln National Corporation, where she oversaw business units, stakeholder engagement, marketing, corporate affairs, investor relations and business development functions.

With more than 30 years’ experience, commencing with a career as a TV journalist, Sims Brown’s resume also includes senior marketing, strategy and business leadership roles with AmeriHealth Caritas and Sun Life Financial US. She officially takes up the post on 1 August and is the result of what CBA said was an extensive global search.  

“Priscilla is a seasoned senior executive with extensive investment management, insurance and financial services experience,” Comyn said. “In addition to her marketing and corporate affairs expertise, Priscilla has an impressive track record of driving ambitious growth and customer transformation agendas, particularly during challenging periods.

“Priscilla’s appointment will help us continue the changes and improvements we need to make to earn the trust of our customers and the community and build a better bank for the future.”

CMO has confirmed existing Commonwealth Bank CMO, Monique Macleod, who was appointed CMO in October 2017 and has spent the past 11 years with the banking group, remains in her role but will now report to Sims Brown. She is currently reporting to group executive of retail banking. Macleod was featured in the 2017 and 2018 editions of the CMO50

CBA said it also planned to announce a new group general counsel and governance leader soon. The role is being overseen by deputy CEO, David Cohen, in the interim.

The emphasis on customer has been a pillar for Comyn, who replaced Ian Narev last April and was tasked with trying to pull CBA away the series of financial scandals emerging over the past two years. These have seen CBA become the subject of a royal commission, and pay back millions in ASIC fines and customer refunds.

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