Johnson & Johnson scraps global CMO role as part of ‘streamlined’ business model

Alison Lewis out at J&J

Alison Lewis is out as the global chief marketing officer of Johnson & Johnson, which has made the role redundant in the implementation of a revamped business model.

The company stated it has established “a new business model that streamlines priorities, allows us to operate more efficiently, and increases our investment in categories that offer high potential for growth and where we can make a positive impact on consumers' lives”.

As such, Lewis is departing after five-and-a-half years in the job. A spokesperson for J&J told The Drum it had “no immediate plans to fill this role at this time” and would split her remit between “other leaders in [the] organization”.

When it handed Lewis the role in 2013, J&J also cited its quest for efficiencies.

The company noted at the time that bringing its businesses "under a single leader enables us to build repeatable, end-to-end, global business models and innovation pipelines for our brands, focusing investment more effectively and efficiently".

The marketer was the first to take on the consumer role, having spent some 25 years in-house at Coca-Cola prior to joining.

In a statement, she said she looked upon her departure as a “proud moment”.

“After five years as the chief marketing officer of J&J, I am ready to pass responsibility to a marketing organization that is agile, close to the consumer and one that possesses a contemporary skill set that will help the consumer business grow in this rapidly changing environment,” she wrote in a statement provided by the company.

“I was brought in to be a change agent, but the talent and passion of the team at J&J also changed me. I will always be inspired by J&J purpose to change the trajectory of health for humanity and feel good that I was able to contribute to this noble effort in my own way by building a modern marketing team with the inherent strength to carry these iconic brands forward.”

J&J is the latest brand to discard the chief marketing officer role. Lyft is currently splitting the top duties between its vice-president of marketing operations and vice-president of brand as Joy Howard “transitions” out of the business, while rival Uber is going through a similar restructure following the early departure of Rebecca Messina.

Meanwhile Bacardi U-turned on its decision to scrap the role in 2018.

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