Richard Lennox’s jump from head of the De Beers account to chief marketing officer at Zale seems to have generated a lot of discussion, at least over my email. Here is what I’ve learned:
- No one is sure whether Lennox will be immediately replaced at JWT.
- Zale CEO Neal Goldberg and his team have gotten flack (mostly from inside the industry) for not having prior jewelry industry experience. With Lennox, who replaces Steve Larkin, they are getting someone who knows diamond marketing better than anyone. And like Goldberg, he has been somewhat critical of the way the trade conducts itself. JWT has also been very much into creating “beacons” (new products) over the last few years, and Zale has said it’s looking for differentiated product. So this may be an interesting, and well-suited match.
- Earlier this year, Lennox went around to the big chains to have them tie into the new DTC generic marketing campaign that will premiere this Christmas. Details on that campaign have not been released yet (and only a few sightholders are on board), but we have learned it’s a go.
- The head of the De Beers account generally has an ad agency background, so some think moving to a retailer is an odd fit. Though let’s not forget, Lennox’s predecessor, Jim Haag, moved to Harry Winston.
The De Beers account is an important one in our industry, but what happens at Zale is pretty crucial as well. Best of luck to all concerned.
UPDATE: Perhaps the market likes the news; Zale’s stock is up today.