RBS names Barclays brand chief David Wheldon as first CMO

By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

April 14, 2015 | 4 min read

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has poached Barclays brand and marketing chief David Wheldon to join its executive committee as its first ever chief marketing officer (CMO).

Wheldon has spent the past three years at Barclays as managing director of brand, reputation, citizenship and marketing, during which time he steered the bank through the damning Libor rigging scandal and implemented a strategy to rebuild trust among consumers.

Prior his time at Barclays that he was global director of brand at Vodafone for nearly six years. Testament to his impact at the company, Wheldon joined Vodafone when it was struggling to make a list of the top 100 most valuable brands in the world; when he left it was the 5th.

“I am delighted that we have recruited someone of David’s experience to this new and important role,” said Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive.

“The creation of this position sends a clear message about how we want to do business and backs up our intent to move the bank on to a new footing. Last year we set out on a clear path to make RBS the number one bank for customer service, trust and advocacy and have already made progress in becoming a simpler and fairer bank that puts the needs of customers at the core of everything we do."

Wheldon is due to take up the position in July when he will become responsible for all aspects of brand, marketing, communication, and corporate responsibility.

"This is a really exciting time to be joining RBS,” he said. “The strategy and vision are clear, a great amount of the groundwork to rebuild trust and reputation has been done and I am really looking forward to helping to play a role in ensuring that that our customers are the most satisfied and loyal in the sector.”

Earlier this year Wheldon was also named president of the World Federation of Advertisers, replacing Pernod Ricard marketer Martin Riley.

At the time he reflected on his time at Barclays and how he envisioned the role of marketing in the next five years. He also highlighted areas of "concern" for marketers in the programmatic trading environment, adding that there may be ramifications for those marketers which have "unwillingly sold their data".

Earlier this year he locked horns with United Biscuits chief executive Martin Glenn over the role of the CMO in the boardroom.

“Marketeers have spent years bemoaning the fact that they aren’t on the board, but it’s probably because they just haven’t been good enough. It doesn’t matter if they are on the board, everyone just needs to do their job properly,” said Wheldon.

Later he said that the real issue was ensuring the consumer’s voice is heard in the boardroom, rather than CMOs themselves.


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