The search, being handled by Wiser Partners, Cincinnati, comes as part of the nearly $30 billion food company navigates its way from an agricultural company to a premier branded food marketer.
The 'next level'
"The company has gotten very
Mr. McMahon, brought on by Chairman-CEO Bruce Rohde six years ago, has generally handled oversight of marketing and public relations for what has, until recently, been a variety of separate operating companies. He will continue to act as a consultant to the company through his own firm, McMahon Marketing. Sergio Zyman, former global chief marketing officer of the Coca-Cola Co. and founder of consulting firm Zyman Marketing Group, has been working with ConAgra to lead the marketing reorganization and the relaunch of some of ConAgra's core brands.
The new CMO, who will report to Mr. Rohde, will be the first marketing executive to oversee marketing functions companywide, with responsibilities for corporate communications, public relations, media and marketing services among other functions.
Location a problem
According to one food analyst, recruiting marketers has been difficult for the former-commodity food behemoth because of its location in Omaha, Ne. But company insiders suggest that if the corporation truly wants to fulfill its mission of becoming "America's Favorite Food Company," it is going to have to build the talent of marketers within the organization.
Separately, ConAgra is also searching for a CMO for its Retail Products Co. unit who will report to the division's president and chief operating officer, Marty Thrasher.