Until Deanie Elsner was promoted to chief marketing officer in
January, Ms. Berman served as de facto CMO for the newly formed
Kraft Foods, overseeing media and marketing strategy for brands
that spend in excess of $500 million globally on advertising. Ms.
Berman is an Ad Age Media Maven and has been with Kraft since 2009,
when she joined as senior director-global planning and strategy. In
that role, she brought more brand work and planning in-house,
taking some responsibility away from creative agencies. Prior to
joining Kraft, she worked at DDB, and spent time at Y&R, Lintas and Saatchi & Saatchi.
With or without Ms. Berman, JC Penney needs to move quickly,
since most major retailers are in the throes of planning and
shooting their holiday campaigns.
JC Penney has been without a permanent marketing leader since
Michael Francis left the president role 13 months ago. Mr. Francis
oversaw marketing, merchandising and product development, but was
never named CMO. The last JC Penney marketing chief was Mike
Boylson, who retired two years ago.
Former Aflac CMO Jeff Herbert has been advising the retailer on
marketing on an interim basis, and wraps up his contract this
month. Meanwhile, Sergio Zyman -- who was instrumental in hiring
Y&R to help with JC Penney's turnaround efforts -- remains a
The retailer's new marketing leader will have few senior
staffers to rely on -- the chain's marketing team has been depleted
amid the executive turmoil and critical headlines of the last year.
Those who have left include: Lisa DeStefano-Orebaugh, VP-strategic
marketing; Greg Clark, senior VP-creative marketing; Sissie Twiggs,
VP-media for digital marketing; and Eric Hunter, senior
Ms. Berman was at JC Penney's Plano, Texas, headquarters last
week, according to the two executives. She also has connections to
at least one JC Penney board member -- Mary Beth West is chief
category and marketing officer at Mondelez International, which
separated from Kraft in October.
JC Penney did not respond to requests for comment. Attempts to
reach Ms. Berman were unsuccessful. A Kraft Foods Group spokesman
said Ms. Berman remains an employee, and wouldn't comment on