Volkswagen drafts in Google chief to head up marketing

Nelly_Kennedy_VWVolkswagen has appointed a top Google executive to become chief marketing officer at its passenger car business, succeeding Jochen Sengpiehl, who has moved to VW Group China.

Nelly Kennedy, who has over 30 years’ experience, joins the German car giant from her role as senior global brand marketing director at Google in California.

Prior to Google, she was director of digital at Condé Nast International and held several senior global marketing posts at sportswear company Adidas.

Sengpiehl has been in the role more than five years, and has been instrumental in overhauling the car giant’s agency structure, with Omnicom handling Europe and South America and WPP running North America. Prior to VW, he had spells at Hyundai Motor Europe, WPP, Daimler, BBDO and Nissan.

VW Passenger Cars chief executive Thomas Schäfer said: “As the new chief marketing officer, Nelly Kennedy together with her team will help turn Volkswagen back into a true people’s brand. I wish her every success.”

VW Passenger Cars board member for sales, marketing and aftersales Imelda Labbé added: “I am delighted to be welcoming Nelly , a digital and marketing expert with decades-long international experience, to Volkswagen.

“Together we will systematically forge ahead with realigning our brand and our marketing activities. I am convinced that Nelly and the expertise she brings with her will make a decisive contribution to giving Volkswagen a clear brand profile in all regions and to turning our brand back into a genuine love brand.”

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