Ring, ring! Telstra nabs IAG’s chief marketing officer, Brent Smart

Telstra has appointed IAG’s Brent Smart as its chief marketing officer and will commence in the role as of 1st September.

Smart will replace Jeremy Nicholas, who will be taking on a new challenge as Telstra’s digital channels executive.

Brent Smart

Smart’s prior experience includes a decade-long stint working in the US, where he was CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi in New York and the managing director of BBDO in San Francisco.

Since returning to Australia in 2017, he has spent the last five years as the CMO at IAG, where he led the brand transformation of NRMA, taking it from Australia’s 36th ‘strongest’ brand, up to 5th place in Brand Finance Australia’s July 2022 report.

At Telstra, Smart will be responsible for Telstra’s brand; media; sponsorship, and award programs; consumer, small business, and enterprise marketing and proposition development; marketing automation, and internal design studio.

Smart will report to the new group executive, consumer, and small business when they are appointed.

Michael Ackland, Telstra’s group executive of consumer and small business said: “Brent is a highly accomplished creative and commercial leader with a passion for people and storytelling, coupled with a wealth of global experience from working with some of the world’s biggest brands.”

“Brent’s appointment comes at a natural inflection point as we complete our T22 transformation and embark on our new T25 strategy. Telstra plays a critical role in keeping Australians connected and we’re looking forward to seeing how Brent continues to strengthen the Telstra brand through his work.”

“I’d also like to thank and congratulate Jeremy Nicholas for his exceptional work as our CMO over the last four years – a transformational period for Telstra’s marketing team, during which he also led the hugely successful Australia is Why brand campaign. Jeremy will now bring his deep customer expertise, rich insight and customer focus to our digital channel experiences.”

Smart said of his appointment: “There aren’t many Australian brands that can play as big a role in culture as Telstra. You can feel a real positive momentum in the business, it’s an exciting time to join and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

UPDATE: Mumbrella apologises to our newsletter subscribers who received an incorrect subject line for this story, sent in error. A new version has been sent.


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