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Allstate Chief Marketing Officer Mark LaNeve Resigns

Insurer Cites Personal Reasons for Departure of Former GM Marketer

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Allstate Chief Marketing Officer Mark LaNeve is leaving the company for personal reasons, the insurer said today, while announcing other senior leadership changes.

Mark LaNeve
Mark LaNeve

The company has not named a replacement. A spokesman told Ad Age that "we want to assess the marketing function" and that "when have a personnel decision in that regard we will make it available."

Senior VP-Marketing Lisa Cochrane, who has broad authority over the insurer's marketing campaigns and ad, media and PR agency relationships, remains at the company. Allstate's creative agency is Leo Burnett, Chicago, which has had the account for 54 years. Allstate ranks as the nation's 65th largest advertiser with $541.7 million in spending, according to the Ad Age DataCenter.

Mr. LaNeve joined Allstate in 2009 after serving as the top ad executive for General Motors Corp. in North America. Allstate in 2010 expanded Mr. LaNeve's authority to include insurance agency sales support, including acquisition and retention processes, education and compensation. His full title was senior exec VP-agency operations and chief marketing officer.

"I regret having to leave Allstate since our strategy and hard work are beginning to pay off," Mr. LaNeve said in a statement.

"Mark's resignation was a personal one," Allstate President-CEO Thomas J. Wilson said in a statement. "We accept Mark's decision and are confident in the abilities of our strong leadership team to generate results that will have Allstate win in the marketplace."

Allstate -- whose products include auto, home and life insurance -- is under pressure in the highly competitive industry. Auto insurers such as Geico and Progressive have stepped up ad spending in recent years providing a whole new level of competition for older players such as Allstate and State Farm. Allstate has recently lost market share (sometimes deliberately, to limit exposure in high-risk areas). The insurer's marketing, though, is highly regarded in advertising circles, particularly the "Mayhem" campaign. The effort was launched under Mr. LaNeve's watch but is steered by Ms. Cochrane.

Allstate today also announced the second executive-team shake-up in five months.

Matt Winter was promoted from senior VP to president of Allstate Auto, Home and Agencies. He will manage the company's core car and homeowners insurance operations, and assume the responsibility of overseeing Allstate's 10,000 agents nationwide. Mr. LaNeve had been managing agent relations. In addition, Chief Financial Officer Don Civgin moves over to run Allstate Financial, the company's much smaller life insurance arm. Steve Shebik, a 16-year financial veteran of Allstate, takes over as CFO. And Steve Verney remains as chief risk officer but joins the senior leadership team, where he will report to Allstate CEO Thomas Wilson.

With Mr. LaNeve's departure, two of the three key senior execs Mr. Wilson recruited from outside the company in 2009 have left.

Contributing: Crain's Chicago Business

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