Lisa Ronson, the chief marketing officer for Coles Group in Australia, has quit. Ronson has been at Coles since the beginning of 2019 and took to Linkedin to break the news: “It’s with sadness today that I announce I’ve decided to move on from Coles Group to pursue a number of exciting new career interests."
The company hasn't yet announced her replacement. Leah Weckert, Coles' CFO, will take on the head of marketing role in the meantime and the five GMs in the marketing team will report to her from mid-September, Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said in an email to employees.
Ronson will depart in late September and added: “I can’t reveal too much but am excited about the next chapter in my career and look forward to staying connected with all my colleagues, partners and friends in the industry.”
"Lisa also led a number of significant commercial and community partnerships including the AFLW/AFL, Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, and Aussie Ark," Cain noted in his email. "Notably, during Lisa’s time, Coles became one of Australia’s most trusted brands, which is a significant milestone we can all be proud of."
Just a month ago, Coles had announced it would retain Omnicom to its agency roster. The retailer had also set up Smith Street, a bespoke unit, with Deloitte Digital as part of this process.
"Being part of Coles’ success during some very challenging times and seeing the company grow into one of Australia’s most trusted brands is something I feel immensely proud to have been a part of," Ronson writes in her departure note. "During my time at Coles, I’m immensely proud to have developed a strong, highly engaged marketing team and led a number of milestone achievements: leading the digital transformation of our marketing communications, launched the exciting Coles Media business, landed our ‘Value the Australian Way’ brand platform and breakthrough ‘Together to Zero’ sustainability platform."
Ronson also drove Coles' sustainability strategy. Last summer, she launched a campaign centred around the two pillars of ‘Together to Zero’ and ‘Better Together’ that aim to position Coles as “Australia’s most sustainable supermarket and trusted retailer”.
The original article has been edited to add commentary from Steven Cain, Cole Group's CEO