- Wells Fargo’s chief marketing officer, Michael Lacorazza, is leaving the company, and the bank is retiring the CMO role, Business Insider reported, citing two anonymous sources.
- The bank announced internally in February it was decentralizing the marketing department, opting to assign a marketing lead to each of its divisions rather than employing a team to oversee marketing across the company, a spokesperson for the bank said.
- The sources gave no concrete date of departure for Lacorazza, who stepped into the companywide marketing role after Jamie Moldafsky, who had served as Wells Fargo’s CMO from 2011 to 2020, left the bank in September.
Several major companies recently have jettisoned the central CMO role. Food giant General Mills reported this month that its CMO, Ivan Pollard, left the company as part of a restructuring in which the company does not plan to replace him.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company said the decentralized marketing model is "designed to better align its organizational structure and resources with its strategic initiatives."
"As we pivot from the pandemic, in a position of strength, we are aligning our organization to maintain momentum in the dynamic markets we serve around the world," the company said in a statement this month.
Wells Fargo’s latest CMO move has roots in a February 2020 restructuring that split its three business units into five — dividing its wholesale bank into commercial and investment units, and dividing its consumer bank into one that encompasses consumer lending, and another that centers on branches and small businesses.
"These changes create the right structure to build our businesses over the long term and increase our ability to successfully execute on our top priority, which is the risk, regulatory, and control work," CEO Charlie Scharf said at the time.
The decentralized model is "designed to create a flatter line of business organizational structure and provide leaders with clear authority, accountability and responsibility," the bank said in February 2020.
Companies such as McDonald’s, which had, for about a year, gone without a chief marketing officer, have reversed course to bring more unity to their brand vision and better juggle changing needs around areas like data and analytics.
More than half of CMOs surveyed as part of a recent white paper from M&C Saatchi Group's Clear consultancy said their influence increased during the pandemic.
"One of the things the pandemic's done is put marketing more squarely back in the middle of a company's operations," Pollard told Marketing Dive in February. "All of this stuff about not needing a CMO or marketing anymore, I think it's shifted back."
While Wells Fargo may not be replacing Lacorazza in a central role, the bank is hiring a CMO for its consumer and small-business banking division, a company spokesperson told Business Insider.
Before joining Wells Fargo in 2012, Lacorazza served as managing director of retail marketing at TD Ameritrade and worked as a vice president for Marriott, according to his LinkedIn profile.