Ellesse and Speedo owner Pentland Brands on hunt for first group CMO

The marketer that fills the role will have a seat at the exec table / Ellesse

After dialling up its focus on in-house advertising, Pentland Brands is on the hunt for its first ever chief marketing officer to oversee a portfolio that includes Speedo, Ellesse and Berghaus.

The marketer who fills the role will have a seat at the exec table and responsibility for strategy, product and marketing across its brands.

Alongside other changes at the top, the position is being introduced to help drive the international growth of Pentland’s sports, outdoor and active brands.

Pentland currently has a number of senior marketers overseeing each of its individual brands. These include longtime staffer Charlotte Cox, who looks after Canterbury and Mitre; Rob Hicking, brand director at Speedo; ex-Pepsi exec Simon Brekon who takes care of Ellesse; Kev McFadyen, brand director at Berghaus; and Marc Greene who occupies the same position at Boxfresh and KangaRoos.

Under the new structure, each brand director will report into the new chief marketing officer.

Though Pentland has never appointed a marketer with executive responsibilities, until recently it had a global marketing director in Sean Hastings who left for River Island in July 2018.

Andy Long, Pentland's chief executive officer, will continue to lead the executive team with Chirag Patel taking on deputy chief executive officer responsibilities, alongside his current role as chief operating officer which includes overseeing the Pentland Brands business in the Americas.

The changes follow on from the group’s significant expansion of its in-house creative agency at the start of 2018, designed to cut the cost of employing what Hastings described as an “enormous amount of agencies”.

The team is now close to 100-strong, split across London, Hong Kong and Nottingham, pooling talent across marketing, creative, digital, production design and innovation.

Last spring it brought on-board MediaCom North to lead as its lead media agency.

Elsewhere in the business, Richard Newcombe, currently president of the footwear division, has been appointed president for EMEA. While continuing to lead the footwear division, Newcombe will be responsible for increasing brand presence and sales across priority EMEA markets.

Andy Long said: “Following our business transformation and our recent brand acquisitions, the exec team roles will focus on delivering international growth, with the chief marketing officer role making sure that our brands continue to evolve and respond to the fast-changing needs of our retailers and consumers."

Get The Drum Newsletter

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