Ian Rowden, chairman and CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Asia Pacific, has today been announced as the new chief marketing officer of the Virgin Group.
Rowden's role will be to drive Virgin's international expansion plans and build its global brand team. His appointment is the first senior hire by the group's incoming co-chief executives David Baxby and Josh Bayliss.
Virgin's figurehead Sir Richard Branson said: "I am excited by the opportunities we have to extend the Virgin brand around the world. Ian is going to play a major role in helping us drive that expansion.”
Rowden has amassed extensive marketing experience both agency and client side since starting his career with The Coca-Cola Company in 1980.
He spent eight years with Coca-Cola before joining Power Brewing Company in Brisbane and later managing partner of DDB Needham Advertising in Sydney.
Rowden returned to Coke in 1992 when he was appointed vice president of marketing for the company's South Pacific region. He has since held top roles with Worldwide Advertising and Callaway Golf, where he led the repositioning of its brand as CMO.
"The Virgin brand touches consumers all over the world. It was the opportunity to drive further growth of this incredible brand that attracted me to the Virgin Group," Rowden said.