ADT Taps New Chief Marketer

Nokia, Verizon Alum Jerri DeVard to Replace Tony Wells

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ADT has tapped Jerri DeVard as its new CMO, replacing Tony Wells.

Jerri DeVard
Jerri DeVard

Ms. DeVard, who has held senior marketing roles at Nokia, Verizon and Citi, will begin at ADT on March 31. She will be charged with leading ADT's marketing efforts across its residential, small business and health business units and will oversee all brand advertising, digital marketing, communications, lead generation and sponsorship initiatives.

Ms. Devard had been consulting following her departure from Nokia in mid-2012, amid news the brand would cut 10,000 employees. She has also spent time at Revlon and Harrah's.

"Jerri has tremendous experience building and leading world-class consumer brands, and has a great reputation for harnessing creativity and innovation to drive growth," said ADT President-CEO Naren Gursahaney in a statement. "I'm counting on Jerri to build on ADT's industry leadership position in home and business automation, and make our brand relevant for the next generation of ADT customers."

Mr. Gursahaney has a "clear vision of what he needs done in marketing," Ms. DeVard said, noting she's excited to build the ADT brand.

She said her first and biggest challenge will be to size up the competition -- then best them. "When you're No. 1, everyone comes at you," Ms. DeVard said. "That's the challenge, people who feel they can get into this category, I want them to pause."

Mr. Wells has been ADT's CMO for two years. According to a statement from the company, he will stay on for several months to ensure a smooth transition. Mr. Wells is a well-known marketer who spent time at 24 Hour Fitness, Visa and Nissan prior to joining ADT.

Mr. Wells shook up the agency roster during his tenure, tapping Havas' Arnold, Boston; SapientNitro and WPP's Mediacom in October. The move marked the end of a long relationship with creative and media incumbent Doner. The MDC-based shop won the company's $30 million direct-response TV account in the late 1990s. Publicis Groupe's Razorfish and BGT Partners had supported ADT's digital efforts.

Ms. DeVard said she does not yet have a view on ADT's agency roster.

The security company, which spun off from Tyco International in late 2012, spent $71 million on measured media last year, according to Kantar Media. That's up nearly 25% from the year prior when it spent $57 million.

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