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Updated: Rooney Out As CMO In Cox Marketing Reorganization

As part of a continuing restructuring of its operations, Cox Communications has initiated a search for a new CMO and will add a new vice president of bundling and pricing strategy.
Joe Rooney, who had been the privately held cable company's CMO since 2007, will now serve as senior vice president of brand marketing, social media and advertising, according to an email that was sent by Cox COO Leo Brennan to employees, a copy of which was obtained by Multichannel News. Rooney will report directly to Brennan under the new set-up.

The switch in Rooney's role follows the resignation last month of CTO Scott Hatfield, who had led a consolidated information-technology and engineering group for 18 months.

Additionally, Cox modified the role of Dallas Clement, who was executive vice president and chief strategy and product officer, is now chief strategy officer. Clement is now focusing on strategy, while Cox plans to hire a separate executive in charge of product management. Clement and the new executive will report to Esser.

Just as Cox has aligned its strategy, product and technology units, it will now enact a similar reorganization of its marketing operation to help it "win" in the marketplace and fulfill the company's "trusted provider vision," Brennan wrote.
In addition to finding a new CMO, Cox, Brennan noted, will add a vice president of bundling and pricing strategy because of the critical role they play in the MSO's overall competitive strategy.

With the transition, the following executives will report to the new CMO: David Pugliese, senior vice president of product marketing; Tony Maldonado, vice president of acquisition and marketing sciences; Tony Matthews, executive director of marketing; Mike Melton, executive director of marketing research; and Randy O'Neal and Beth Denning, executive directors of marketing operations.

A Cox spokesman said he had no details about whether any of the company's marketing executives were in candidacy for the CMO. Time frames for finding the CMO spot and the hiring of a vice president for the bundling/pricing strategy position were indeterminate at this stage.

In his June 30 missive, Brennan said that when he assumed the role of COO at the beginning of 2009, Cox president Pat Esser charged him with assessing all aspects of the MSO's business operations and with designing systems and an organization that would meet the needs of the competitive marketplace. To that end, Brennan said Cox has realigned and clustered its systems, and created a new customer operation group.
Brennan further explained that Esser in recent organizational announcements stressed the need to enhance Cox's "product delivery, development and management processes. The other critical component of the process is how we acquire, retain and market to current and potential customers. I don't have to tell you how competitive our world has become and the degree to which we are seeing more aggressive marketing and product offers from competitors; many of you are living it daily."
The COO said that in order for Cox to be successful, it "must have the ability to adopt and move quickly, and apply different thinking to how we do business."
Hence: the reorganization of the marketing group.
Relative to Rooney, who is now charged with the company's overall brand positioning and social media strategy, Brennan said Cox brand is critical to its marketplace positioning and overall trusted provider strategy. Further, "we believe the growing importance of social media deserves the attention of a senior leader at Cox, and we are happy to place this focus under Joe's leadership."
Brennan said Rooney "has done a great job at positioning Cox's brand in the marketplace with campaigns like ‘Digital Max,' ‘Your Friend in the Digital Age' and now the ‘Digis.' For those of you who have been here for a while, you also know Joe is the brains behind the highly successful ‘It's the bundle baby' concept which became a game changer in the telecommunications industry."
He noted that Rooney's breadth and depth of branding knowledge "makes him the best fit for this role" and where the Cox can best "maximize his strengths."