Sara Martins de Oliveira exits as Vodafone global brand and media boss

The Drum understands that the telecom giant's global director of brand and media is to depart within the next few months / Vodafone

Sara Martins de Oliveira, the marketer spearheading Vodafone's shift towards an in-house digital media model, is to step down from the business.

The Drum understands that the telecom giant's global director of brand and media is to depart within the next few months. It's also understood that she will be directly replaced, however no formal hunt to fill her position has yet started.

At the time of writing, Vodafone declined to comment on the news.

Sources familiar with the matter told The Drum that Oliveira's decision to leave was due to a family relocation.

Though she is leaving in the midst of the business's estimated £400m global media agency review, she will remain at Vodafone until later in the year – meaning she's likely to see it to its conclusion. The pitch covers key markets including Australia, the UK, India and Spain.

Last week, Vodafone's UK brand chief Maria Koutsoudakis told The Drum that the pitch was in its final stages, with WPP incumbent Wavemaker battling Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat in the final round of pitching.

“We’re looking at the September [for a decision],” she said. “A lot of this now is central negotiation and the pros and cons of consolidation versus separation.”

Under Oliveiria's watch the brand has in-housed biddable media, including search and social. Her experimentation means it now has internal digital teams serving 11 of its 25 markets.

Before joining Vodafone, the Oliveira was a Unilever veteran, serving in various roles over the course of 16 years, including global brand development director for Lipton.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.