Motorola's Geoffrey Frost dead

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New York (—Geoffrey Frost, exec VP-chief marketing officer for Motorola and one of the most respected marketers in the business, died this morning.

In a company statement, Motorola Chairman-CEO Ed Zander called Mr. Frost “an innovative and charismatic leader, and Motorolans around the world came to rely on him as both a trusted colleague and a friend. Motorola and the marketing community have lost a creative genius.”

Frost, who is credited with bringing cool to the 77-year-old Motorola brand, was by many accounts at the height of his marketing career. He is credited with pushing design through the company with the development of the Razr phone, which helped Motorola retake its leading marketing position in the U.S. Zander had recently promoted Frost to one of two exec VP spots at the company. George Neill, corporate VP-marketing, will head Motorola’s global marketing for now.

Prior to joining Motorola, Frost was global director of advertising and brand communications for Nike. He also worked in a number of management positions at ad agency Foote Cone & Belding.

His contributions extended well beyond the companies he worked for. Frost was known for pushing the boundaries of marketing and championing emerging areas of the discipline—particularly the roles of branded entertainment and design. He spoke often at major conferences and was always highly entertaining, taking great pleasure in showing his audiences Motorola’s latest prototypes.

Frost was in his early 50s, but had a youthful view of life. In a recent interview with Advertising Age he was reluctant to give his age. He said only, “I’m 17 forever.”

—Alice Z. Cuneo is West Coast editor for Advertising Age, a sibling publication of BtoB.

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