Diageo’s Global Chief Marketing Officer, Cristina Diezhandino, has been named WFA Global Marketer of the Year 2022, after making the annual award’s shortlist for a second time in a row.
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Since 2017, the WFA and its media partner, The Drum, have been seeking to identify the person in a global or regional role who has, over the last 12 months, made the most impact on their company, our industry and the reputation of marketing among consumers.
Diageo’s top marketer won following a combined vote from an expert jury and 7,000 representatives of the industry at large, including WFA members, with each accounting for a half of the final score.
Diezhandino is CMO at Diageo since July 2020, when she also joined Diageo’s Executive Committee. Previously Global Category Director for Scotch and Managing Director for Reserve brands, she has extensive experience across Marketing and General Management in both emerging and developed markets.
Prior to her Scotch and Reserve role, Diezhandino was the General Manager for Central America and Caribbean. Cristina has also held key roles for Diageo Africa and as Global Brand Director Whisky Portfolio & Gins and Johnnie Walker.
Since becoming Global CMO in 2020, she has taken a leading role in driving the company’s marketing and innovation strategy and leading Diageo’s 2180-strong marketing team and agency partners through a time like no other, by instilling what she calls a mindset of possibility.
Prior to Diageo, she was Marketing Director at Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine and held various roles, including Brand Director, at Unilever during her 11 years with the business.
Commenting on the award, Cristina Diezhandino shared: “I am delighted and immensely proud to be named WFA Global Marketer of the Year 2022. I hold the WFA in the highest regard and truly value the work it does in championing and inspiring our industry. This award is very special to me and I accept it on behalf of the entire Diageo marketing team who have all joined me in embracing a mindset of possibility – one that allows us to be open, to challenge ourselves and keep driving forward. We aim to continue building our iconic portfolio of brands, in the context of a changing and sometimes volatile consumer environment and in doing so, we have a real opportunity to drive value, not only for our business but also for the communities in which we operate."
Cristina was one of eight global marketers to be shortlisted for the award alongside:
- Fabrice Beaulieu, Chief Marketing, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer, Reckitt;
- Patricia Corsi, Chief Marketing, Digital and Information Officer, Bayer;
- Asmita Dubey, Chief Digital & Marketing Officer, L’Oréal;
- Cheryl Goh, Group VP of Marketing and Sustainability – Founding CMO, Grab;
- Julia Goldin, Chief Product & Marketing Officer/Executive Vice President, LEGO;
- Martin Renaud, EVP & Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, Mondelēz International; and
- Karen Riley-Grant, CMO, Levi Strauss & Co.
The shortlist was selected by an expert jury from across the industry, chaired by WFA President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Mastercard, Raja Rajamannar, following nominations from the marketing industry.
“Cristina has demonstrated how marketing leadership and innovation go hand in hand and help build brand relevance. At the same time, she has been delivering on sustainability in reducing the company’s packaging and enhancing the talent within the Diageo marketing team. In delivering across such diverse issues, she demonstrates not just how complex the role of a CMO has become, but also how to be successful in a global position,” said Raja Rajamannar.
Diezhandino and the other global marketers on the shortlist demonstrated outstanding leadership in at least two of four key areas:
- Driving initiatives which contribute towards sustainable business growth/practices;
- Optimising their global marketing organisation, including working more effectively with partners;
- Delivering stand-out innovation and creative effectiveness.
- Playing an industry leadership role, for example around furthering the Diversity & Inclusion agenda.
Stephan Loerke, CEO of WFA, said: “All of our shortlisted candidates have made a huge impact and demonstrated how marketing can play a critical part in driving growth and having a positive societal impact. With so much uncertainty in the world, our industry needs these visionary marketing leaders, people who can inspire their teams and embrace the future more than ever.”
This is the sixth year that the WFA has run its Global Marketer of the Year Award. Last year it was won by Conny Braams from Unilever. Previous winners include Marc Pritchard from Procter & Gamble, Lubomira Rochet, then at L’Oréal, Mastercard’s Raja Rajamannar and Unilever’s Keith Weed.
All shortlisted candidates are also featured in WFA’s Hall of Fame.