Delta Shakes Up Marketing Operations

Bumps Up Smith to Senior VP, Names Mapes VP-Marketing

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NEW YORK ( -- Delta Air Lines today again shook up its marketing team, promoting VP-Marketing Joanne Smith to senior VP for in-flight service and global product development, and replacing her with Tim Mapes, the airline's managing director-marketing and cultural transformation.
Joanne Smith
Joanne Smith

In addition, Sandy Gordon, managing director of in-flight service, has been promoted to VP for in-flight service operations and training.

Delta executives could not be reached for comment this morning. In a statement, Chief Operating Officer Jim Whitehurst said: "The promotion of three well-known and versatile leaders to key customer-service and marketing posts is another step in ensuring we have the right leaders in the right places to reach our goal of being truly preferred by our customers."

It was the third shakeup in as many years at Delta. Late last March, Ms. Smith stepped in for Exec VP-Chief Marketing Officer Paul Matsen, who resigned just days after being quoted as saying Delta's strategy of international expansion would rely on a more clear branding message.
Tim Mapes
Tim Mapes Credit: Darryl Estrine

Ironically, in a press release, Delta said today's moves involving Ms. Smith, Mr. Mapes and Ms. Gordon would "support the airline's efforts to enhance its position as an industry leader in customer service and to boost its global brand presence."

Shortly after Mr. Matsen left last year, the airline dumped his hand-picked ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather, as well as its "Good goes around" campaign. Independent SS&K is now the agency of record. Delta spent $29.3 million in measured media last year according to TNS Media Intelligence.
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