World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has announced a new leadership team and elected Mastercard’s CMO and communications officer, Raja Rajamannar (feature image), as its new President.
He will serve a two-year term as WFA president, with the option to extend for a further two years.
Rajamannar has worked for Mastercard since 2013, and in particular, has led the company’s marketing transformation.
Recently, Rajamannar pioneered Mastercard’s move to become a symbol brand and the launch of its breakthrough sonic brand platform.
He also serves as president of Mastercard’s healthcare division in addition to his role as CMO and communications officer.
With more than 30 years of experience as a global executive across multiple industries, previous roles include executive VP and chief transformation officer, WellPoint (now Anthem, Inc.); chief executive, international and chief innovation & marketing officer, Humana; and CEO of diners club North America.
He replaces David Wheldon, CMO at RBS, who has been president since 2015.
Wheldon will continue to serve on WFA’s executive committee as regional VP for Western Europe.
Rajamannar said: “The opportunity in front of marketers today to make a difference for their brand, their business and even the world is tremendous.
“I am honoured to pick up and carry the torch as President of WFA, an organization committed to elevating and advancing the activities of our profession, and a role I am convinced will become even more important in the years to come.”
WFA CEO, Stephan Loerke said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Raja as our new President.
“He’s one of the very best in the business and his work at Mastercard demonstrates how marketers can deliver unrivalled business and social impact when they’re at the top of their game.
“I’d also like to thank David for his invaluable service as President.
“He is nothing short of a giant in the global marketing industry and he has helped lift the organisation to another level in terms of its relevance to CMOs, its strategic focus and its global expansion.
“We’re delighted he’s agreed to stay on our Executive Committee and help steer the organisation through future challenges.”
The deputy president role has been attributed to Philip Myers, senior VP, global policy and government affairs at PepsiCo, who takes over from Matthias Berninger, former VP, public affairs at Mars.
Philip leads PepsiCo’s government and stakeholder relations.
Previously, he oversaw public policy and communications across the company’s Europe Sub-Saharan Africa business and before that led the European Retail Round Table, which brought together Europe’s leading retailers on public policy issues.
His appointment reflects the dual nature of WFA’s mission working with both marketers to ensure marketing effectiveness and policy professionals to protect brands’ license to operate.