Company: Intel Corp.
Years in current job: less than 1
Quote: “The key is successfully and consistently conveying the economic benefits across an integrated mix of marketing and sales vehicles”
Intel veteran Sean Maloney loves a challenge. Several years ago he swam across the Thames in London and on most days he's out the door at 5:15 a.m. to go rowing on San Francisco Bay.
Maloney is now facing an enormous test following a management shake-up at Intel in mid-September that reportedly put him in line to eventually become CEO of the world's largest semiconductor chipmaker.
As part of the management reshuffling, Maloney was named exec VP and co-general manager of the Intel Architecture Group, a newly formed unit that consolidated all of Intel's major product divisions. In addition to managing business and operations, Maloney now oversees the marketing of all of Intel's computer segments, including desktops, laptops and handheld devices. Prior to his promotion, Maloney was chief sales and marketing officer at Intel.
The management changes come at a critical juncture for Intel, as the company tries to break into new markets, such as chips for cell phones and TVs, and expand beyond the PC arena.
Maloney has played an instrumental role in the development and execution of “Sponsors of Tomorrow,” an integrated branding campaign rolled out in May that represents Intel's biggest marketing effort in three years. (The budget has not been disclosed.)
The campaign, which is expected to run from three to five years, includes print, online and outdoor. It is the company's first marketing campaign promoting the Intel brand, not a processor product.
“We would hope that our reputation and long-standing history of driving innovation and enabling entire ecosystems would speak for themselves,” Maloney said. “But research told us that many consumers are not aware of the amazing things that are happening within the walls of Intel.”
To kick off the campaign, a group of Intel employees rang the ceremonial opening bell for the NASDAQ market. The day of the launch also included a run of the home page of nytimes.com, featuring a futuristic version of the front page of The New York Times that had been created by Intel engineers.
Other creative takes a humorous approach to communicating the inventive qualities associated with Intel. In “Rock Star,” for example, an actor portraying Intel engineer Ajay Bhatt, co-inventor of the USB, walks in slow motion into an office kitchen and is given the rock-star treatment by his colleagues.
“The campaign's fun and quirky tone has been the key to its widespread appeal,” Maloney said.
TV spots from the campaign are included on Intel's YouTube channel and are also posted on the company's online pressroom, enabling viewers to download them to their blog or Facebook page.
Maloney said social media continues to have a huge effect on how the company communicates and manages relationships.
“On social media, we're using the internal expertise within the organization to connect IT experts with our customers,” he said. “This leads to deeper, more informative engagements than what you'd get with advertising alone.”
Maloney, who has been with Intel since 1982, was named chief sales and marketing officer in 2006. Before that, he was co-manager of Intel's Mobility Group.