Smirnoff VP for global marketing Michelle Klein is leaving the world's biggest vodka brand for Facebook, where she is expected to play a big role managing agency relationships.
A Facebook spokesman confirmed Klein's hiring and said her title would be head of global agency marketing. She will join Facebook's global business marketing team based in New York.
Born in South Africa and raised in Australia, Klein has lived on four continents.
"Often when you're in a global role you tend to sit in global headquarters," she said. "If you haven't seen the world, then I think you have less of an appreciation for global culture."
Michelle also spent 7 years in England, and moved to New York to take on the role with Smirnoff.. She started her career in PR in Australia. She has written for the Sydney Morning Herald and worked agency-side, leading the British Airways global account at Agency.com.
A job opening on LinkedIn described the role that Klein has landed : "Facebook seeks an experienced marketer who is passionate about the online advertising industry to develop and manage industry-facing programs and events to drive education, inspiration and give advertisers (mainly agencies) a reason to believe that Facebook can drive business results for their clients."
The Facebook spokesman said: "Agencies are a very important audience and partner for Facebook, and the role will focus on making the most of this important relationship."
In the newly created role, Ms. Klein is expected to work alongside Facebook's existing team that manages agency relationships.
Klein, named as one of Ad Age's Women to Watch in 2013, joined Diageo about eight years ago.
She was initially oversaw digital marketing for Smirnoff, the world's largest vodka brand. She was promoted three years ago to the brand's top marketing position.
Klein helped lead the social-media-fueled "Nightlife Exchange Project," in which people in 50 countries exchanged party ideas for one global bash that included bringing a South Beach vibe to London and British food and music to Miami.
"Michelle has made a significant contribution to Diageo and Smirnoff," Matt Bruhn, global marketing director for Smirnoff, said in a statement. "While we are sad to see her to go, we look forward to working with her in her next adventure."