Manulife hires new CMO

Gretchen Garrigues takes on the company's global marketing and branding leadership, with an eye towards growth.

Gretchen Garrigues has been hired by Canadian insurance and financial services company Manulife as its new EVP and global CMO.

In a new position at the company, Garrigues will be responsible for Manulife’s global marketing and communications, focusing on global branding and ensuring the company’s marketing strategies and customer experiences support business growth on a global scale.

Garrigues will also be a member of Manulife’s executive committee and lead its global marketing leadership team, which includes marketing leaders from all of the countries it operates. Outside of Canada, Manulife operates in 11 countries within Asia, as well as in the U.S., primarily under the John Hancock banner it acquired in 2004.

Garrigues will report to Paul Rooney, Manulife’s senior EVP and COO.

Garrigues joins from New York-based commerce tech company First Data, where she spent over two years as its CMO, helping to lead marketing efforts around the company’s 2015 IPO. Prior to that, she held a number of marketing leadership positions in multiple markets over a 16-year stint with GE Capital.

In February, the company hired former Tim Hortons VP of marketing Glenn Hollis as its first Canadian CMO, who will now report to Garrigues. Previously organized by different lines of business, Manulife has been restructuring its marketing to be more integrated, and this marks the first time a marketer has had this level of oversight at Manulife.

“We have embarked on a strategy that is far more customer-focused, which requires a senior leader who can build marketing capabilities in the organization and drive the development of a customer-centric culture across all functions,” Rooney said in a press release of Garrigues’ role. “Gretchen’s deep understanding of marketing, particularly in the areas of brand development, digital and analytics, coupled with her strong financial acumen, make her a great fit to drive Manulife’s customer-centric strategy.”

Here in Canada, Manulife debuted a new campaign last month for the launch of its upcoming Vitality life insurance program.

Photo courtesy Matt Greenslade