- Bank of America's chief marketing officer, Meredith Verdone, will leave banking this year, she said Friday on Twitter. The move was first announced in an internal email seen by Business Insider.
- After Verdone leaves, Bank of America has no plans to rehire for the CMO role. Instead, Verdone’s 1,400-person global marketing team will merge with Chief Digital Officer David Tyrie's team, Business Insider reported.
- Bank of America is not the first company to sunset the CMO role, nor even the first large bank. Wells Fargo announced in May it would retire the role when Michael Lacorazza said he was leaving the bank. The company three months earlier said it was decentralizing the marketing department.
Verdone's exit comes as Bank of America announced a raft of changes among its executive ranks. The bank said Friday it is promoting Alastair Borthwick, previously its president of global commercial banking, to CFO, effective in the fourth quarter. Additionally, the bank's longtime chief technology and operations officer, Cathy Bessant, will become vice chairman of global strategy.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank announced two weeks earlier that Vice Chair Anne Finucane and Chief Operating Officer Tom Montag would retire at the end of the year.
"The strategy is to bring digital experience and marketing together, and we want to make it much more seamless," Verdone said of the restructuring.
Companies such as Uber, Beam Suntory, General Mills and Johnson & Johnson have all axed the title of CMO in recent years. However, some companies that scrapped the role of CMO, like Coca-Cola in 2017 and McDonald's in 2019, have doubled back and decided to hire marketing chiefs once again.
Executive recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates found in a study that CMO appointments rose in the second half of 2020 throughout North America.
"Marketing is evolving dramatically in terms of the impact it can have on business growth,” Verdone said in a 2018 interview with Business Insider, adding that one of the most significant hurdles for CMOs is "ensuring that we have the right operating model and talent for future, which is going to be based on the intersection of technology, creative and data.
The internal email announcing Verdone's exit came from Andrea Smith, the bank's chief administrative officer who, in a twist, is also retiring from the bank at year's end, Bank of America announced earlier that day.
Verdone has served as Bank of America's CMO since 2017 and joined FleetBoston Financial, an institution Bank of America acquired, in 1999 as a wealth management marketing executive.