Hyundai Motor America today named an executive from its agency-of-record Innocean as its next chief marketing officer. Angela Zepeda, the agency’s senior VP and managing director, replaces Dean Evans, who announced his departure last week to pursue an unnamed business opportunity.
Zepeda, who assumes the CMO role immediately, will oversee all of Hyundai’s marketing and advertising activities in the U.S., including strategy, brand development, national and regional advertising, experiential marketing, digital and social media, brand partnerships and lead generation. She reports to Hyundai Chief Operating Officer Brian Smith.
Innocean hired Zepeda three years ago to lead new business. She was later tapped to lead the Hyundai account, overseeing creative, planning and media operations. She previously worked at Los Angeles-based agency Quigley-Simpson and has also logged time as CMO of Campbell Ewald-Los Angeles.
Her hiring continues a recent trend of automakers naming female marketing leaders. Nissan in March promoted Allyson Witherspoon into the VP for marketing communications and media role, Mitsubishi Motors North America in January named Kimberly Gardiner its marketing chief, while General Motors in September elevated Deborah Wahl into the global CMO role.
Hyundai in its press release described Zepeda as “an expert in marketing to women, with a keen understanding of the emotional triggers involved in women’s retail habits.”
“Angela was already a member of our extended family and we’ve seen firsthand her creativity, business acumen and talent in building our brand and leading teams,” Smith stated. “She is well-respected by the entire organization and our dealers, and will be able to seamlessly transition to leading the marketing function here at Hyundai.”
One of her most important tasks will be overseeing Hyundai’s Super Bowl advertising. Last season the brand ran an ad starring Jason Bateman that was well received. Hyundai later tapped the actor as the voice of its brand.
Of late, Hyundai has outperformed the broader U.S. auto market. In the year’s first nine months, sales grew 2.8 percent to 506,356 vehicles, compared with a U.S. light-vehicle market that was down 1.6 percent, according to Automotive News.