Best Buy's No. 2 Marketer Departs for JC Penney

Ruby Anik Oversaw Retailer's In-house Creative Department

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COLUMBUS, Ohio ( -- Ruby Anik, Best Buy's second-in-command marketing executive, has left the company to join department-store retailer JC Penney.
Ruby Anik
Ruby Anik

Ms. Anik, senior VP-marketing communications at Best Buy, joins Dallas-based JC Penney Nov. 26 as senior VP-director of brand marketing. Ms. Anik's departure comes four months after Best Buy shifted its estimated $200 million account to Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York.

Best Buy Advertising
Prior to this shift, Ms. Anik had overseen the retailer's large in-house creative department, known as Best Buy Advertising, or BBA. A former Pillsbury Co. marketing executive, Ms. Anik rose through the ranks since joining Best Buy in 2000 as VP-media and was promoted to her current position in 2002.

Since rumors began surfacing over a year ago that Best Buy might dismantle its in-house agency that numbers 150, the consumer-electronics retailer has repeatedly argued that BBA was still relevant in combination with an outside agency and would continue to handle duties such as a weekly insert program and other specialized marketing areas, including Hispanic marketing, direct marketing and loyalty programs.

Lisa Hawks, a spokeswoman for Best Buy, said BBA will continue to handle those duties. "Ruby's vision of a hybrid model for marketing communications and tapping the best internal and external resources continues," Ms. Hawks said.

According to a Best Buy spokeswoman, the retailer has no plans to conduct a search for Ms. Anik's replacement.

Reshuffled leadership
Ms. Anik's departure comes just weeks after some major reshuffling of Best Buy's top leadership team and a little over a year after the company eliminated its CMO suite, following the departure of longtime marketing executive Mike Linton. Since that time, Barry Judge, who joined the company in 1999, has been leading marketing, with the title of VP-marketing.

At $19 billion department-store retailer, JC Penney, Ms. Anik will report directly to Chief Marketing Officer Mike Boylson. She will oversee brand marketing strategy and "ensure the consistent execution of the JC Penney brand in all messaging," according to a press release.

Penney caught the Kevin Roberts love bug a little over a year ago and shifted its creative duties to Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi. It has since overhauled its marketing imagery and themes away from promotional-driven messages and imagery toward the emotion-laden tagline: "Every Day Matters."

Ms. Anik's "renowned creative insights regarding the important connection between associates and customers will be an important element, as we develop an emotional connection with our customers that is strong and enduring," Ken Hicks, the retailer's president and chief merchandising officer, said in a release.
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