The WFA (World Federation of Advertisers) elected Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s chief marketing and communications officer, as president.
Rajamannar, who will serve a two-year term with the option to extend for a further two years, replaces David Wheldon, CMO at RBS, who has been president since 2015 and will continue to serve on WFA’s executive committee as regional vice-president for Western Europe. In addition, Philip Myers, senior vice-president of global policy and government affairs at PepsiCo, takes over from Matthias Berninger, former vice-president of public affairs at Mars, as deputy president.
The organisation also appointed 10 of new executive committee members, including four based in APAC:
- Jean-Luc Chétrit, CEO, French Advertisers Association (UDA) & WFA Treasurer
- Edward Bell, General Manager Brand, Insight and Marketing Communications, Cathay Pacific Airways
- Adam Mohamed Wee Abdullah, Group Chief Marketing Officer, CIMB
- Valérie Hernando-Presse, Chief Marketing Officer, Danone
- Gerhard Louw, Head of International Media Management, Deutsche Telekom
- Allyson Park, Global Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Mars
- Francesco Tramontin, Director, Global Public Affairs, Mondelez
- Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive, Marketing Group, Singapore Tourism Board
- Atul Agrawal, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Brand and Marketing, Tata
- Jan Morten Drange, CEO, Association of Norwegian Advertisers (ANFO)
Rajamannar, who started his career with Asian Paints in India, has worked for Mastercard since 2013, spearheading efforts such as an integration of the marketing and communication functions, evolution of the 'priceless' platform, and the company's recent move to become a 'symbol brand' and the launch of a sonic brand platform. He previously served in leadership roles at WellPoint (now Anthem), Humana, Citigroup and Diners Club North America. He was also recently named the 2018 WFA Global Marketer of the Year.
“The opportunity in front of marketers today to make a difference for their brand, their business and even the world is tremendous," Rajamannar said in a release. "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.”
“It’s always gratifying that so many senior marketers are willing to serve on WFA’s committees and forums. We couldn’t do half the work we do without these vital contributions and the wisdom of so many senior marketers and policy professionals is critical in identifying upcoming issues and potential solutions to the many challenges faced by brands today,” said Stephan Loerke.