Dana Anderson, CMO of packaged goods giant Mondelez International, is leaving the company to hold the same title at strategic advisory and business development firm MediaLink.
“I’m ready to scream it from the rooftops because Dana is such a big personality,” MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan said today, describing Anderson as “someone I have secretly gone after for a long time.”
Anderson joined Mondelez—whose brands include Oreo, Trident, Triscuit and Nabisco—in 2012, when it was spun off from Kraft Foods. Throughout her tenure at Mondelez, Anderson helmed Honey Maid’s “Wholesome” ads, a Droga5 campaign that celebrated diversity in modern families, and Oreo’s “Wonderfilled” spots.
Her experience is particularly relevant to an organization like MediaLink that manages reviews and works with both clients and agencies, because she has experience on both sides of the aisle. Prior to her time at Mondelez, she spent five years as svp of marketing and strategic communications at Kraft and held a series of leadership roles at ad agencies like J. Walter Thompson, DDB and FCB; she was chief executive officer at the Chicago offices of the latter two shops.
“MediaLink has always been about the conversation at the crossroads of media and technology in marketing,” Anderson told Adweek in explaining her move. “My experience on both the client and agency sides brings special insights for marketers translating from one side to another.”
The firm, which has managed a number of high-profile reviews in recent years in addition to organizing industry events, believes that Anderson will provide a sympathetic ear to top marketers. “I know the pressure you’re under,” she said in reference to modern-day CMOs. “I know how fast this needs to be done and what kinds of partners you’re looking for.”
Anderson’s departure is part of a larger executive shakeup at Mondelez. Last week, the company announced that Roberto Marques, evp and president of North America, will leave, and Tim Cofer, chief growth officer, will serve as interim president of North American business.
Mondelez also publicized several new hires today including that of PepsiCo vet Stefania Gvillo, who will serve as global head of strategic insights, and global head of packaging Jay Gouliard, who was formerly with Coca-Cola and Unilever.
MediaLink was acquired by Ascential, the parent company of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in February and later announced that it would be opening a new office in London led by vice chairman Wenda Harris Millard. Along with this expansion, Ascential hopes Anderson’s hire could help achieve its goal of expanding MediaLink’s business into new markets. The firm currently has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.
Kassan cites opportunities for internal growth and the extension of his firm’s brand practice as the biggest reasons for the sale while noting that MediaLink and its parent company still maintain a relationship that is “very much arm’s length.”
“It’s going to be very different,” said Anderson of her new job. “The fun part is that it will probably feel a little less corporate. I was blessed to work with Mondelez and I learned so much, but being with Michael and the MediaLink folks will be so much fun.”
Anderson is currently in the process of interviewing potential partners for a feature event at this summer’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.