Audi of America has named a new chief marketing officer while expanding the role to include oversight of brand communications. Emilie Cotter, the automaker’s chief communications officer since 2020, was promoted to the position, which carries a new title of head of brand marketing communications, chief marketing officer.
Audi of America names new CMO, expanding the role to include communications
The appointment comes about two months after the departure of Tara Rush, who had served as CMO since late 2020. Rush, like Cotter, also had a communications background before taking on the CMO role, previously serving as Audi of America’s chief communications officer. Rush joined the automaker in 2019 from Hieneken USA where she was chief corporate affairs officer.
Read more: Tara Rush exits Audi of America
While Audi has shown a recent preference to promote communications execs into the CMO job, the brand is now formalizing the unification of marketing and communications oversight with Cotter at the helm. In a statement, Audi said the “integrated function will unify brand strategy, marketing and external communications to accelerate growth and transition consumers to an electric future.”
“Emilie’s strong leadership will drive innovative brand strategies, enhance collaboration and put a laser focus on the customer as we continue our ambitious growth,” said Daniel Weissland, president of Audi of America, in a statement.
Cotter’s previous stints include holding the chief brand officer job at Marketplace, a nonprofit news organization focused on economy and business topics; senior VP and partner at PR agency FleishmanHillard; and head of corporate and brand communication for Lucasfilm, Ltd.
“At Audi, we're in the middle of a massive transformation. The industry is evolving and so is the way we manage our business,” Cotter said in a statement. “I'm thrilled to lead this new team and for the opportunity to accelerate our growth with new and existing customers.”
During Rush’s tenure, Audi of Amerca changed lead U.S. creative agencies, hiring Ogilvy in May 2022, replacing Venables Bell & Partners, which had held the account since 2007.
Volkswagen Group-owned Audi posted a 16% gain in U.S. second-quarter sales to 55,582 vehicles, helped by strong electric vehicle sales, which now account for 10% of total brand sales, a new high, according to Automotive News.