Allstate Senior VP-Marketing Lisa Cochrane is retiring from her post on July 2, 2015, she announced today. After more than 15 years at the insurer, Ms. Cochrane is stepping down to pursue other goals.
"My gut's telling me it's a good time to explore the next chapter in my life," Ms. Cochrane wrote in an email. "I don't know what lies ahead, but I know something's out there and I'm open to ideas."
Allstate will open an external search to fill Ms. Cochrane's soon-to-be vacant senior VP-integrated marketing communications role, said a company spokeswoman.
During her time at Allstate, Ms. Cochrane helped lift the company out of a slump following the financial crisis and fought to stay relevant in the face of increasing competition from big ad spenders like Geico and Progressive. She used the "In Good Hands" campaign to differentiate Allstate from providers who were pushing low-cost coverage.
She also introduced Mayhem, a character created by Leo Burnett five years ago to disrupt the conversation around insurance. The character personifies everyday accidents, like a falling tree branch and a michevious puppy in a car's backseat, to raise the question: "Am I covered for that?" Mayhem, played by Dean Winters, has helped the insurer break into local markets and move deeper into the digital world with campaigns that highlight consumers' changing needs. Ms. Cochrane also integrated the company's marketing across platforms including social, digital, radio, TV and print.
Prior to joining Allstate in 2000, Ms. Cochrane held positions at Northwestern University and Schwarz Worldwide, now Omnicom's IMS, as well as Ogilvy & Mather.
Here is the full email announcing Ms. Cochrane's retirement:
Some news: after much thought and 15½ years of keeping people in Good Hands, I have decided to retire from Allstate on July 2.
Working at Allstate is a privilege I don't take lightly. I'm leaving a great situation; Allstate's brands and business are stronger than ever. I love my job, my colleagues, my agency partners, my friends, the opportunities to lead and create and see stuff get accomplished. It will feel weird to walk out of here without that title, but it might be good to just be me for a while.
While technically I'm retiring from Allstate, I prefer to think of it as "rewiring". Is it risky to leave such a great job? Perhaps. But risk brings the potential for reinvention – and great reward. I've always relied on my internal barometer – trusted my gut. And my gut's telling me it's a good time to explore the next chapter in my life. I don't know what lies ahead, but I know something's out there and I'm open to ideas. In the meantime, I'm treating myself to a summer off, a delicious time I remember from maternity leave 32 years ago. And this time I get to spend it with Cary.
Thank you for being part of my journey over the past 38 years – and may our adventures bring us together some time soon.