Hopkins to become CMO at Seven West Media

Optus marketing leader takes up chief marketing and audience executive-level role with ASX-listed media giant

Melissa Hopkins with James Warburton
Melissa Hopkins with James Warburton

Seven West Media has confirmed Optus VP of marketing, Melissa Hopkins, as its new group chief marketing and audience officer.  

Hopkins officially joins the media giant’s executive team in March and reports directly to MD and CEO, James Warburton. She is replacing Charlotte Valente, who departs at the end of this year for a 12-month sojourn with her family and after being recognised on the CMO50 2022 list.  

Hopkins has been VP of marketing at Optus since late 2016. Her work over this tenure has seen her recognised multiple times on the annual CMO50 list, most recently as #4 in 2022. She commenced at Optus as director of marketing and communications before becoming head of consumer marketing then VP in August 2021.  

Hopkins returned to Australia in 2015 with 20 years’ experience overseas on brands such as the British Army, Absolut Vodka, Procter & Gamble, the UK Government, Fujitsu, Docomo and Vodafone. She was global head of brand marcoms for the latter for over three years. Hopkins is also on the advisory board at ADMA.  

At Seven West Media, Hopkins has a remit covering brand strategy, consumer and trade marketing, audience research, promotions, publicity, social media and corporate communications. She’s also expected to partner with commercial and content teams.  The aim of the game is be responsible for driving audience numbers and growth across the entire portfolio.  

“Melissa is a fantastic addition to the team that has made Seven Australia’s most-watched total TV network and one of the best-performing companies in the local media sector,” Warburton commented. “A highly commercial, creative and energetic senior leader with over 25 years’ global experience both agency and client side, Melissa has deep consumer and enterprise experience across a wide range of sectors and high-profile brands. She has a strong track record in driving award winning and commercially successful brand initiatives and platforms, leading to strong market share, revenue and earnings growth.  

“I am very much looking forward to welcoming her to Seven.”  

For her part, Hopkins said she was looking forward to the fresh category and opportunity.  

“It is a privilege to be joining one of Australia’s most iconic brands at a period where there is such strong ambition for growth and transformation. I look forward to joining such a visionary leadership team to drive growth and shake up the category,” she said.  

Discussing her year and milestones as part of her CMO50 submission, Hopkins said hadn’t had a golden marketing moment as Optus marketing chief this past year. And she was happy about that.  

“My entire past year and CMO50 submission has been about consistency throughout the year, not one shining moment,” she says. “This for me has been a major moment of maturity. It is not one major win, but all the little ones that build to greatness and deliver continuous results.”  

For the last three months, Hopkins has also navigated through the telco’s high-profile and extensive cybersecurity attack that saw the personal details of 9.8m customers compromised. Commenting on the situation in October, Hopkins told CMO leading from the front with authenticity and transparency as CMO are paramount.  

“I am currently having to demonstrate this very thing daily as we are in the thick of the Optus cyberattack,” Hopkins said at the time. “In crisis, how you lead is more important than ever.  

“I am having to have very broad shoulders at the moment. But the responsibility I have to our brand and our people at Optus along with our customers must come first.”    

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