Westpac recruits new brand and marketing chief

Former KFC Asia CMO to oversee full portfolio of Westpac brands

Westpac Group has confirmed its new chief brand and marketing officer across both retail and business marketing.  

Annabel Fribence takes up the reins as chief brand and marketing officer from November, reporting to chief executive of consumer and business banking, Chris de Bruin. The role encompasses brand, creative and marketing direction across the full portfolio of brands including Westpac, BT, St George, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and RAMS.  

Fribence takes over the brand and marketing mantle left by Martine Jager, who departed from Westpac earlier this year after a decade to become Bank of Queensland’s group executive of retail. During her time with Westpac, Jager was recognised twice in the top 10 of CMO’s CMO50 recognising Australia’s most innovative and effective marketing leaders (2018 and 2020).    

Digital was split out of Jager’s role and is now overseen by Jason Hair, who joined Westpac several months ago from Woolworths as chief digital officer.

De Bruin, who joined Westpac at the beginning of the year, highlighted Fribence’s creative and commercially minded approach, as well as her significant experience working for major brands in Australia and Asia.  

Fribence joins from KFC Singapore, where she has been CMO for Asia Central for the over three years. Prior to this, she held marketing management roles for KFC Australia. Her resume also spans brand and marketing management positions with Foster’s Group, McDonalds and Pernod Ricard.  

“Annabel will have a critical part in helping us to strengthen connection and engagement with our customers, stakeholders, and communities across Australia,” de Bruin stated. “I’m looking forward to having Annabel join us in November and I know she will be a great advocate for our people, brands and customers.”  

Fribence noted Westpac’s long and rich brand history in Australia, and said she was looking forward to returning home to help shape the future direction of the group’s brands.  

“There’s never been a more important time for brands to be there for customers as we navigate through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she commented. “I’m looking forward to what we can achieve as a team for our customers, brands and business.”

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