Mondelez senior marketer exodus continues as Sonia Carter departs

Mondelez International's head of digital and social media for Europe Sonia Carter has left the business, marking the latest high profile departure from its global marketing team.

sonia carter
Mondelez senior marketer exodus continues as Sonia Carter departs.

Carter told The Drum that her decision comes after five “fantastic years”. However, she declined to comment on what her next move will be.

As one of Mondelez’s most well-known marketers, Carter played a key role in establishing the business and its brands among the more forward-thinking FMCG advertisers. This was especially true post the creation of Mondelez, which was spun off from Kraft Foods in 2012 and saw the company pump more budget into digital to turbocharge growth for investors. Carter went from being head of digital at Cadbury to overseeing digital and social media strategies for all Mondelez brands across Europe off the back of the spin-off, which also saw her play a key role in establishing new ties with both Facebook and Twitter.

From these relationships, came the company’s patented ‘Storytelling at Scale’ marketing strategy, which Carter helped devise and introduce to her markets. She and her peers were given access to some of the best strategists and technology at Facebook, which led them to observe that the social network could generate the same returns as TV, but with a third of the investment. Consequently, an early test of the strategy using the Crème Egg brand became one of the standout examples for the industry at a time when many marketers were still trying to get their head around Facebook’s purpose in their media mix.

It was that appetite for what she calls "informed experimentation" that convinced her to move from Axa, where she led a team of online specialists, to Cadbury in 2011. Here, she acted as the digital specialist on campaigns for Cadbury Dairy Milk, Crème Egg, Twirl, Crunchie and more, overseeing budgets, campaign optimisation as well as the management of agencies.

Undoubtedly, Mondelez is losing a talent but what will be of even greater concern to senior executives is how closely her departure follows those of Bonin Bough and Gerry D'Angelo, both of whom sat on the media team with her and in the case of the latter was whom Carter reported to. Bough was chief media and e-commerce officer at the business, while D’Angelo oversaw media strategies for Europe, with both marketers pursuing a model that attempted to get the company to view investments as a profit generating rather than a cost centre.

Beyond the media team, Mondelez has also had to cope with the departure of Matthew Williams, the top marketer for its Cadbury brand in the UK. Having overseen various projects for the brand including a revamp in 2013 and its popular London 2012 sponsorship campaign in a career that spanned 15 years, Williams decided it was time to leave the business for pastures new. He has been replaced by Francesco Vitrano.

Details on who will replace Carter, Bough and D’Angelo are yet to be announced.