Kate Shevack

Timex Corp.

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One might be tempted to believe that Kate Shevack took the position of chief marketing officer at Timex Corp. for the free watches. After all, her first watch was a Timex and she was an early adopter of the company's Ironman Triathlon watches in the 1980s. Really though, she took the job as Timex's first CMO for the sheer marketing challenge.
Kate Shevack, chief marketing officer, Timex Corp.

The London-born marketing veteran has been collecting watches along with marketing success stories over the past two decades. Beginning as a graduate trainee for Reckitt & Colman (now Reckitt Benckiser) in the U.K., Ms. Shevack worked her way up in brand management at the package-goods company.

Ms. Shevack, 39, officially took the Timex CMO title in March. "We need to wake people up to Timex, to reopen the dialogue with consumers and bring all that latent good will people have for the brand top of mind," she says.

"We anticipate Kate's background and commitment to results will directly translate into increased brand visibility and sales," says Joe Santana, president-CEO, adding that she takes the CMO duties during a "crucial phase" at Timex.

Ms. Shevack helped develop a strategic road map for the brand that includes new-product development and positioning that departs from the staid durability/reliability message for a more contemporary image as "a company that appreciates and values time," she says.

Already, Ms. Shevack and newly appointed agency Ernest Industries, New York, have developed a new campaign, "Be There Now," that will kick off in June magazines.

Possibly due to her own penchant for watches, including the pricey ones -- among her collection is a Jaeger-LeCoultre, a brand that averages $10,000 -- Ms. Shevack understands the need for Timex to go upscale. In the fall, it will enter jewelry stores and high-end department stores with the TX brand, a $400-plus line that Ms. Shevack believes will serve to "elevate the brand and open new channels of distribution."

When she wears the TX (a perk of the job, you see), Ms. Shevack says, "the design alone is so compelling and breakthrough that it turns a lot of heads. ... People want to rip it off my wrist." Soon, though, they can have one themselves.
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