Hyatt Names Maryam Banikarim Global Chief Marketing Officer

She Was Gannett's First-Ever CMO

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Maryam Banikarim
Maryam Banikarim

Hyatt Hotels on Wednesday named Maryam Banikarim its global chief marketing officer. She succeeds Hyatt veteran John Wallis, who will remain with the company and oversee strategic initiatives.

Ms. Banikarim will be responsible for steering Hyatt brands online and offline, as well as fostering "innovation around the guest experience," the company said.

"She brings to Hyatt a wealth of experience working with brands that are experiential, emotional and brought to life in many ways, including through storytelling, all things we believe are essential to our brands and will help us achieve our goal of becoming the most preferred hotel company," Mark Hoplamazian, president-CEO, said in a statement.

Ms. Banikarim comes to Hyatt less than four years after she took the first-ever CMO job at Gannett Company, publisher of multiple newspapers including USA Today. Prior to Gannett, she was senior VP at NBC Universal and CMO for Univision Communications.

"She made integrated marketing come to life at NBC Universal -- that 's a big deal," Jeff Zucker, former NBC Universal president and CEO, said about Ms. Banikarim in 2011, when Ad Age named her a Woman to Watch.

Ms. Banikarim will move to Chicago, where Hyatt is based, from New York. She begins Jan. 26.

A Gannett spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an Ad Age email asking whether the company would replace Ms. Banikarim. If it does seek a replacement, Gannett will be one of two major newspaper publishers in search of a CMO. The New York Times is currently on the hunt for its first-ever chief marketer.

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