The WFA has announced a new leadership team and elected Mastercard’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Raja Rajamannar, 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, including the integration of the Marketing and Communication functions, evolution of its Priceless experiential platform, and creation of cutting edge marketing-led business models into the core of the company. Recently, he 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 Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.
With more than 30 years of experience as a global executive across multiple industries, previous roles include Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer, WellPoint (now Anthem, Inc.); Chief Executive, International and Chief Innovation & Marketing Officer, Humana; Global Chief Marketing Officer, Cards and Payments, Citigroup; and CEO of Diners Club North America. Raja started his career with Asian Paints in India.
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 Vice-President for Western Europe.
“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,” Rajamannar 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,” Stephan Loerke, CEO of WFA said.
“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 Vice-President, Global Policy and Government Affairs at PepsiCo, who takes over from Matthias Berninger, former Vice-President, Public Affairs at Mars.
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.