Reinventing the Chief Marketing Officer: An Interview with Unilever CMO Keith Weed

A CMO in charge of delivering on both the vision and the model.

From Harvard Business Review – A marketing revolution is under way and nowhere is that more visible than in the CMOs transforming role. Unilever CMO Keith Weed embodies this new order as an architect and leader of the firms plan to double revenue while halving its environmental impact. In this edited interview, Weed describes a new breed of marketing organization, and the CMOs increasingly strategic role.

You have a very unusual job description for a CMO you oversee marketing and communications and sustainable business. Whats the rationale for that?

The construct came from our CEO Paul Polman. When Paul arrived at Unilever in 2009, I was running the global laundry and home care business and also the water business around the world. And one of the big drives there for me was to find more sustainable solutions, particularly to clothes washing. Its the greatest use of domestic water and we have a big business in emerging markets where people have to work hard to fetch water or pay a lot for it. So, I was already quite focused on sustainability issues.

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