Reebok International has promoted John Watson to senior VP-strategic marketing from senior VP/general manager-apparel. In the process, Dave Ropes, a six-year Reebok veteran and acting senior VP-strategic marketing, is leaving the company. Mr. Watson will create a long-term marketing strategy for the brand, while creation and implementation of specific marketing programs will be handled by each unit around the world. Such a move left Mr. Ropes without a viable role within the company. Mr. Ropes will stay on and assist in the transfer of duties and see current projects to completion, including a major marketing alliance with America Online.
During his tenure at Reebok, Mr. Ropes, a former Pepsi-Cola Co. marketing exec, was instrumental in bringing aboard Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, as the marketer's global agency of record, and in creating its current brand positioning and marketing direction, which boasts the tagline "This is my planet.'' Mr. Ropes intends to do some consulting work and assess his opportunities after he leaves Reebok in several weeks.