Netflix strengthens C-suite with Bozoma Saint John as new CMO

Linda J. Dodson

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Dive Brief:

  • Netflix has appointed Bozoma Saint John as its new chief marketing officer, Deadline reported.
  • Saint John comes to Netflix from holding group Endeavor, where she served as CMO since 2018. Prior to that, she was Uber’s chief brand officer, Apple’s head of global consumer marketing and PepsiCo’s head of music and entertainment marketing. She is the first Black woman to join the streaming giant’s group of top executives, according to Bloomberg.
  • Netflix’s former CMO Jackie Lee-Joe, who was hired last July, amicably left the company for personal reasons, per Deadline, and has been in Australia with her family since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Dive Insight:

Netflix’s hiring of marketing heavy hitter Bozoma Saint John comes as the company faces fiercer competition and is navigating an uptick in subscribers due to the coronavirus, weighing that growth against anticipated drop offs as the world emerges from lockdown.

Netflix counts 182.8 million subscribers, adding more than 15.7 million people in the first three months of 2020 alone. But while this growth was largely driven by homebound consumers seeking entertainment, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told investors that those numbers were expected to decline as people emerge from their homes.

By tapping a top marketing chief in Saint John, Netflix appears to be loading up its leadership arsenal to help it retain some of these customers. Saint John brings a resume rich with marketing at some of the leading consumer-facing entertainment and tech companies including Apple, Uber and PepsiCo.

As brands struggle with a weak economy and an uncertain health future, many have been shifting their marketing leadership. Netflix’s new hire follows recent changes at the CMO level for McDonald’s, Burger King and Goldman Sachs. The financial services firm hired its first CMO and Burger King hired its first North American CMO.

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