Subway Names Longtime Coca-Cola Marketer Joe Tripodi as CMO
Joe Tripodi has joined Subway as its global chief marketing officer, filling a vacant role at a crucial time for the brand as it tries to move past its ties to former pitchman Jared Fogle and rebound from a sales slump.
In a statement, Mr. Tripodi said he was "thrilled" to join Subway, calling it an "exciting time" in the brand's history. "As consumers tastes evolve, I want to build on Subway's legacy of innovation to ensure we are always leading in our marketing, product offerings and consumer engagement strategies," Mr. Tripodi said.
CMO Tony Pace left Subway earlier this year to start his own marketing consultancy called Cerebral Graffiti. After plans for Mr. Pace's departure were announced, Subway tapped Omnicom's BBDO as its new ad agency in August.
"Joe is a very capable guy. I wish him well in his new role," Mr. Pace said Thursday.
Mr. Tripodi has global responsibility for Subway's marketing, corporate social responsibility, product quality and food safety, public relations and research and development functions.
"Joe brings a wealth of experience leading global marketing organizations and initiatives for blue chip companies such as Coca-Cola, Seagram's, MasterCard and Allstate where he drove significant growth and brand value," Suzanne Greco, Subway's president and CEO, said in a statement. "I am pleased to announce his appointment and look forward to what he will bring to our customers and franchisees."
Subway did not make Mr. Tripodi or Ms. Greco available for interviews.
Mr. Tripodi spent seven years as Coca-Cola's chief marketing and commercial officer. He was the first Coke executive to hold that role, which unified traditional advertising, point-of-purchase marketing and in-store sales. During Mr. Tripodi's stint, Coca-Cola was the Cannes Festival's Creative Marketer of the Year in 2013 and Ad Age's Marketer of the Year in 2011.
The company brought former marketing executive Chris Carroll back to the company earlier this year in the role of chief advertising officer. Mr. Carroll remains chief advertising officer and both he and Mr. Tripodi report to Ms. Greco.
The company is trying to bounce back from an estimated 3% decline in U.S. sales in 2014, its first decline in years. This year, Mr. Fogle admitted to receiving child pornography and paying for sex with minors, and was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison. In September, Subway Co-founder and longtime CEO Fred DeLuca died after battling leukemia.
Subway has long served Coke products. However, last month Subway Canada named PepsiCo as its exclusive beverage and snack provider. Still, Subway continues to serve Coke drinks in the United States.