Walmart hires Disney in-house agency leader as first chief creative officer
Walmart is adding some high-profile hires to its marketing team, including bringing in the former head of Disney Parks’ in-house creative agency as its first chief creative officer. The retail giant also lured a top Under Armour' marketing exec to head category marketing.
Jean Batthany, the new senior VP-creative of Walmart U.S., reports to Chief Marketing Officer William White and “will lead the work to define how the Walmart brand comes to life for our customers across all channels,” he said in a memo.
At Disney Parks, Batthany was VP-global creative for Yellow Shoes, an in-house agency with more than 250 people covering both the park experience and consumer products, where she worked with Walt Disney Imagineering, Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar on programs. She’s also a 25-year veteran of agencies including stints at DDB, Merkley & Partners and BBDO.
She joins Walmart at a time when it’s been stepping up what was always a keen focus on adding entertainment to its shopping. Last year the retailer launched parking lot drive-in movies and elaborate parking-lot drone light shows along with a star-studded virtual summer camp for kids with counselors including Drew Barrymore, Neil Patrick Harris and LeBron James among others.
White, finishing his first year as Walmart's top marketer, also has hired Courtney Carlson, head of North American marketing at Under Armour, as senior VP of category marketing, developing strategies and programs for Walmart’s core retail business units.
“Courtney is fanatic about the consumer and their experience with a brand,” White said in a memo. “I’ve been impressed by how she leans on cross-functional partners to design experiences that drive loyalty.”
For the past three years at Under Armour she covered brand, media, retail, creative and experience marketing, and new audience segmentation, White said, including the launch of UA’s biggest brand platform. Prior to UA, she spent 15 years at Target in various merchandising and marketing roles.
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