Mr. Keller, a P&G veteran, joined the H.J. Heinz Co. in 1998 and rose in late 2002 to chief growth officer. In that role, he oversaw a $200 million marketing budget for Heinz's lineup of ketchup, frozen foods and sauces. Subsequently, Mr. Keller was advanced to chairman-CEO, Heinz Italy, and president of Heinz Southern Europe. At P&G, he served as marketing director for U.S. Snacks and on global development for Pringles.
Mr. Keller succeeds Mr. Frost, a marketing visionary who died unexpectedly last November. Mr. Fros helped turn around Motorola's marketing fortunes by influencing the design of the company's products, and making phone names more consumer friendly by eliminating technical jargon and giving the company's products hip nomenclature such as Razr, Slivr and Pebl.
Mr. Frost also revamped Motorola's agency relationships, touring the globe and hiring shops both here ( BBDO, New York; Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco) and abroad (180 Amsterdam). Those shops continued to work for Motorola under George Neill, VP-marketing and a former Apple Computer executive who was named interim marketing director, and Leslie Dance, corporate VP-global marketing and communications.
Motorola, the nation's No.1 handset manufacturer, and No. 2 globally behind Nokia, has been gaining market share on the back of the Razr. "The challenge is keeping the buzz alive," said Charles S. Golvin, principal analyst, Forrester Research. Verizon Wireless is selling Motorola's latest Razr offspring, the Krzr, a loaded Razr with video capabilities, camera and navigation system. Already, other analysts have said it's not expected to have the original Razr's edge.
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Bradley Johnson and Stephanie Thompson contributed to this report.