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Burberry appoints new CMO in ex-Calvin Klein marketer Rod Manley

Burberry has appointed Rod Manley as chief marketing officer following the exit of Sarah Manley (Rod's sister) earlier this year.

Manley will join on 7 January and take the lead of the fashion giant’s marketing, communications and creative media teams. He will relocate to London from New York, where he was most recently executive vice-president for influence marketing and communications at Calvin Klein.

He has previously held senior positions at Giorgio Armani and also worked at creative services and media relations firm KCD.

He will report directly to chief executive Marco Gobbetti, who said: “Rod’s experience and expertise will be invaluable as we continue to strengthen the Burberry brand and position the business for growth.”

The hire sees longtime chief marketing officer Sarah Manley finally replaced after she departed the business in July, swiftly after the exit of former chief executive and creative director Christopher Bailey.

She initially began as vice-president of global public relations for the fashion house and had held several roles in her 17 years with the company.

With the appointment, Burberry adds to its revitalised leadership team. It has been trying to turn its fortunes around since Gobbetti joined and brought in new chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci to the business last year.

However, efforts to rebuild the brand haven't been without challenges. Firstly, it revealed a revamped logo earlier this year – the first refresh in two decades – but one columnist for The Drum suggested that in the drive for simplicity Burberry may have rid itself of any personality or identity.

However, this problem was quickly overshadowed by a PR disaster when the fashion house was outed in the national media for its controversial practice of incinerating unsold goods.

It was found to have destroyed £28.6m worth of unsold stock in 2017, including clothes, accessories and perfume, in order to protect the Burberry image.

Gobbetti quickly vowed that it would become "socially and environmentally responsible" in a bid to stem the damage.

"This belief is core to us at Burberry and key to our long-term success. We are committed to applying the same creativity to all parts of Burberry as we do to our products," he said at the time.