Koala parts ways with marketing chief, removes CMO role

Australian mattress and furniture retailer confirms departure of global CMO, Peter Sloterdyk, and reveals new org structure plans

Peter Sloterdyk
Peter Sloterdyk

Koala has cut ties with its US-based chief marketing officer and removed the CMO role from its executive team line-up following a restructure of its organisational strategy.

The Australian online mattress and furniture retailer recruited Peter Sloterdyk as its first global CMO in March 2020 to spearhead its marketing strategy and approach. While the plan was to have Sloterdyk based in Australia eventually, the marketing chief had been leading the team from his US home.

Sloterdyk came with marketing, digital and social management experience credentials, including two years with Netflix as head of original series marketing. His resume also includes a global CMO stint at social networking app, Grindr, as well as marketing, digital and social roles with Meredith Xcelerated Marketing, Trailer Park and Digitas. 

A Koala spokesperson told CMO that while Koala supports remote and flexible work practices and Sloterdyk had done a “great job” working from the US, the decision was made to pull the plug on the arrangement followed a structural review.

“We believe it is prudent to have our senior leaders based in one of our key markets,” the spokesperson said. “After aligning our org design with our strategy, we’ve passively started looking for a chief commercial officer that, through a global brand team and country specific marketing teams, removes the CMO role.”

The Koala spokesperson noted he six-year-old Australian business had doubled its workforce over the last 12 months and created a significant number of Australian jobs.

“This growth aligns with Koala's ambitions to continue expanding its national and international presence and its product range,” the spokesperson said.  

In a LinkedIn post, Sloterdyk said he was proud of the work he and his team had put in during his 16 months with the Koala business. He highlighted a brand identity refresh project orchestrated with the Digitas North America team as a particular milestone.

“I am humbled and grateful to lead such a remarkable brand and have played a small part in leading the transformation for our next stage of growth. Congratulations to everyone at Koala,” he stated.  

While the emphasis in terms of leadership is local, Koala has nevertheless flagged its intention to continue capitalising on opportunities for international growth across the South Korea and Japan markets alongside Australia.

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