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Tourism Australia CMO Lisa Ronson resigns to join Coles

Tourism Australia’s chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson is set to leave the organisation in March to become the CMO of Coles.

Ronson joined the tourism body in 2015 and spearheaded its recent Crocodile Dundee marketing campaign.  

Lisa Ronson Mumbrella Travel Marketing Summit

Ronson starts as Coles CMO on 1 May

Ronson is sticking around at Tourism Australia until March to help it manage its new roster of agencies: M&C Saatchi, Digitas and ASAP+. A new CMO has not yet been appointed.

Coles said Ronson had a track record of building strong consumer brands, leading high-profile teams and growing retail sales and market share, including through a strong use of data to build customer insights.

She will report to Coles CEO Steven Cain, who said the appointment will benefit the company’s client base.

“I am confident Lisa’s experience working across a number of sectors, businesses and geographies will be of immense benefit to our business and our objective to make like easier for our customers.”

Previously at Coles, chief operating officer Greg Davis has led the marketing function, during which he launched the Little Shop collectible promotion and rolled out the Good Things Are Happening brand campaign.

When Ronson joins the supermarket giant, Davis will step back from marketing, but continue to lead the merchandise business unit, store development and Coles Brand teams.

In addition to Tourism Australia, Ronson has also held senior marketing positions at Visa, Telstra, David Jones and Westpac.

The managing director of Tourism Australia, John O’Sullivan, said Ronson was a marketer with experience, passion and enthusiasm.

“Lisa has been a wonderful custodian of the Tourism Australia brand,” he said. “In her time as CMO, she brought a new level of customer centricity, commercial focus and creativity to our marketing.

“She is someone who believes passionately in the power of creative ideas and partnerships to deliver commercial results. That approach is certainly a big part of the legacy she leaves our organisation and especially evident with recent creative campaigns such as Aussie News Today, Dundee and UnDiscover Australia.

“We will not only miss Lisa’s marketing expertise, but also her enormous enthusiasm for the industry and passion for her colleagues. She’ll be sadly missed but goes with our very best wishes and gratitude for a job extremely well done.”

Ronson said it had been an honour to lead the Tourism Australia marketing team and help promote Australia to the world.

“I’m hugely grateful for my time at Tourism Australia. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on so many amazing projects, with talented and enthusiastic people and for such a great brand. I will miss it a great deal, especially the team and the industry, but feel that the time is right to move on and hand over the reins.”

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