Warburton to leave customer and marketing chief post at Audi Australia

Premium automotive brand to announce a new marketing leader as Warburton heads for the exit after a three-year tenure

Audi Australia’s chief customer and marketing officer, Nikki Warburton, will leave the automotive group in July after a three-year tenure.

The company confirmed today Warburton had handed in her notice after a stellar three years which included overseeing customer, product and marketing for the last two. Warburton joined Audi Australia in July 2018 initially as chief marketing officer.

Her impact on the brand, market share and sales saw her recognised in the CMO50 of Australia’s most innovative and effective marketing leaders.

Audi Australia managing director, Paul Sansom, said Warburton’s contribution had been “tremendous” after joining during a challenging period for the business. He said the company had markedly grown sales volume and gained market share over the last two years, work that saw the brand recognised as the fastest growing premium brand in terms of buyer intention in Australia according to Kantar’s research. Audi was also named top premium automotive brand by Roy Morgan in the last 12 months.  

Nikki WarburtonCredit: NIkki Warburton
Nikki Warburton

“Nikki joined us in a difficult phase, characterised by delays in our product lifecycles, which resulted in significant untapped opportunity to further strengthen our brand in Australia,” he stated. “Since then, her team has exceeded all expectations in turning this around into the strong position we are in today.

“While we regret to see Nikki leave, we understand it is the right time for her to accept her next challenge, especially given the strength of the team she leaves behind.”

For her part, Warburton said she was ready for a fresh professional challenge. Warburton’s resume also includes working in marketing and advertising for Austar until its sale to Foxtel in 2012 as well as for the Astre Automotive Group encompassing Hyundai, Chrysler Jeep and Audi. She has also been a Women in TV mentor and is an executive patron for the foundation board of Taronga Zoo.

“I’m enormously proud of all we’ve achieved in the last few years, but I feel now is the right time for me to leave Audi’s future success in the capable hands of my team,” she said. “Audi is an incredible brand and I’ve had an amazing time helping it to shine as brightly as it does now, and I will always carry with e a great fondness for the fearless progress it has always stood for.”

A replacement marketing and customer chief is expected to be announced by Audi in coming weeks.

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