Year in review: 8 CMOs who made it to the top job in 2022

From aviation to telecoms, tech and FMCG, here are the marketing leaders who made CEO in 2022

Chief marketing officers taking up the reins as CEO or managing director of a company are still few and far between. So when they do get promoted, CMO is keen to recognise them and find out how they got there.

As we round out the year, we took a look back on several significant CMO to CEO moves we saw in 2022, from aviation through to IT, automotive, retail, tourism and FMCG.

Stephanie Tully to become the next Jetstar CEO

Eighteen years into her tenure with Qantas, the airline’s chief customer officer and former marketing chief, Stephanie Tully, was announced as incoming CEO of Jetstar following the departure of Gareth Evans at the end of 2022.

Tully joined the Qantas Group in 2004 in customer service and worked her way up through operational, commercial, marketing and customer loyalty positions to become executive manager of group brand and marketing in 2015. She was recognised for her effective and innovative marketing leadership in the 2017 edition of the CMO50 list and secured third position that year. She was promoted to group executive and chief customer officer in August 2019, taking over the role from Vanessa Hudson after she was promoted to CFO.

Check out the full report on Tully’s promotion here.

Kimberly-Clark promotes marketer to top A/NZ job

Kimberly-Clark’s decision to promote its former senior marketing director to the top job in Australia and New Zealand was one of several appointments to bolster the company’s female leadership representation this year.

In April, the organisation confirmed Belinda Driscoll as its new managing director for A/NZ, stating the former marketing leader is its youngest and first female MD in almost 100 years. Driscoll joined Kimberly-Clark in 2020 as senior marketing director and has been a significant contributor to the group’s 13 per cent retail sales value increase since then. Notably, the Huggies and U by Kotex brands have experienced 59 per cent and 36 per cent market share growth, respectively.  

She is also a huge advocate for sustainability and reconciliation. Check out the news here; you can find out full interview with Driscoll in Issue 1. 2022 of CMO magazine here.

WW marketing chief promoted to top A/NZ job

Three years after joining Weight Watchers to lead marketing and engagement, Nicole McInnes was promoted to managing director for A/NZ this year.  

McInnes joined WW in 2019 as director of marketing and commercial, bringing with her 25 years’ marketing experience working for the likes of Dell, AMEX, Pandora Music, eHarmony and WooliesX. She took up the chief reins from Mathieu Le Renard, who moves into a new international role based in Europe.  

WW also confirmed former Australian Radio Network CMO, Anthony Xydis, as its new director of marketing and engagement. Xydis, who joined ARN in 2013 and rose to chief marketing officer in 2016, was recognised for his efforts in the 2019 edition of the CMO50 list.

Read the in-depth report here

Amaysim CMO promoted to top job

Amaysim promoted its chief marketing officer, Renee Garner, to company head in May, making her the youngest and first female leader in the mobile virtual network operator’s 11-year history.

Gartner joined amaysim as marketing chief in 2019. Coming initially from a background in corporate law, she made the switch into customer and marketing while working for Energy Australia, becoming its general manager of customer strategy, marketing planning and segments in 2015 and overseeing its retail P&L.

As Garner took the helm at the mobile virtual network operator, the company confirmed former Tyro Payments marketing leader, Lisa Vitaris, as its new marketing and sales chief.

Read CMO's profile interview with Garner here. 

Toyota CMO promoted to lead Lexus Australia

Toyota Australia veteran, John Pappas, also made his next step up this year, switching the chief marketing officer role for a chief executive's position.

Pappas became the new chief executive officer of Lexus Australia in 2022. He had previously spent 18 months as CMO and was the former GM of national sales and vehicle logistics for three-and-a-half years. Lexus is a wholly owned Toyota brand but operates independently of the bigger group.

Read more about the promotion here.

Tourism Tasmania CMO confirmed as new SATC CEO

Marketing leader, Emma Terry, is making her CEO debut with the South Australian Tourism Commission from January 2023.

Terry was announced as the new chief executive of the SATC in November. The CEO post is currently in the hands of interim chief and CFO, Stephanie Rozokos.

Terry brings with her more than 20 years of experience in strategic planning, brand development, communications and marketing. For the past five years, she’s been wielding these skills as Tasmania’s chief marketing officer, establishing the Apple Isle’s long-term strategic destination marketing platforms, including the highly successful ‘Come down for air’.

Read more about Terry’s CEO remit here.

How this former CMO plans to put her stamp on the CEO role at Mayver's

Building maturity and growth through marketing, sales and R&D is in Bethaney George’s sights as she puts her stamp on the CEO role at Victorian-based FMCG, Mayver’s.

The former True Foods GM of marketing, sales, category and innovation officially took up the top job at Mayver’s in September. She replaced former boss, Ross Mudford, who had held the CEO’s post for nine years but had been working in a part-time capacity over the last few years.

George told CMO she was attracted to the Australian-owned company firstly because of its values and “passion for creating better for you, high quality and delicious products that consumers love”.

“Being family owned and Australian made, with a reputation of a collaborative culture and nimbleness of business, was of large appeal for me,” she said.

Read our interview with George here.

AMI appoints Mars Wrigley marketing chief as CEO

The Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) also nabbed a marketing leader for its chief this year, bringing on former Mars Food Australia marketer, Brownyn Powell, as its chief executive officer.

Powell boasts of 30 years' experience in marketing and innovation across FMCG, QSR and entertainment brands. She took over from CEO, Narendra Prasad, who continues on with the association as its CFO and company secretary. Powell had been a non-executive director at the AMI for the last year. Prior to this, she was marketing director at Mars Food for four years, overseeing brands such as MasterFoods, Kantong, Ben’s Original and Dolmio.

Check out the appointment news here.

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