Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Are Sales People Likely to Trump Marketers for the Top Job?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Are Sales People Likely to Trump Marketers for the Top Job?

Article excerpt

The appointment of Alex Gorsky, who started as a sales rep, as Johnson & Johnson's new chief executive has raised the issue of whether marketers are well-placed to land such roles.

NO - HUGH BAILLIE CHIEF EXECUTIVE, OGILVY & MATHER

The best way for a chief executive to create value for shareholders in the long run is to create value for the customer.

When you think of customers, the art of the sales guy is making you buy things you didn't think you wanted. The art of the marketing guy is making you want things you didn't even know you needed.

In a world where pretty much all the supply levers have been pushed to the max, the foresight and creativity of the marketer should win out.

Having said this, given that the chief executive slot is increasingly reserved for people from finance, I welcome the increasingly rare sight of anyone making it to the top from a customer-facing role.

NO - CRAIG INGLIS, MARKETING DIRECTOR, JOHN LEWIS

I'm not sure appointing a former salesman as chief executive says anything about marketers. My last job covered both sales and marketing, so I've seen both sides.

Any marketer worth their salt has to understand the key commercials of the business, as our primary role has to be to support their delivery. I don't think there is a delineation between sales and marketing in that regard.

In retail, it's usually a different structure - we don't have sales directors as such - but there should still be joint ownership of the brand and commercial agendas with our buying and operational peers Should marketers be on the board? …

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